Heterogeneity in the structure of Icelandic -st figure reflexives

Date

2021-08-25

Authors

Moser, Christiana

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Abstract

Under a theoretical framework of Minimalism and Distributed Morphology, this thesis presents evidence for an analysis that accounts for heterogeneity in the argument structure of figure reflexives that contain -st verbs of motion in Icelandic, as in Bjartur squeezed through the crowd, where Bjartur is both the entity that is the AGENT of the squeezing and the FIGURE, the entity that gets squeezed through the crowd. A set of -st verbs of motion is divided into three classes. I argue for an unergative analysis of Class 1 verbs, as they do not require PPs and can occur in impersonal passives. An expletive argument analysis best accounts for clauses containing Class 2 verb roots, as they require a PP for most speakers and can occur in impersonal passives. A derived-subject analysis best accounts for clauses containing Class 3 verb roots, as they do not require a PP and do not allow impersonal passives for most speakers.

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Keywords

Syntax, Icelandic, Linguistics, Reflexives

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