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The change that never happened: the story of oblique subjects

Barddal, Johanna LU and Eythorsson, Thorhallur (2003) In Journal of Linguistics 39(3). p.439-472
Abstract
This paper contributes to an ongoing debate on the syntactic status of oblique subject-like NPs in the ‘impersonal’ construction (of the type me-thinks) in Old Germanic. The debate is caused by the lack of canonical subject case marking in such NPs. It has been argued that these NPs are syntactic objects, but we provide evidence for their subject status, as in Modern Icelandic and Faroese. Thus, we argue that the syntactic status of the oblique subject-like NPs has not changed at all from object status to subject status, contra standard claims in the literature. Our evidence stems from Old Icelandic, but the analysis has implications for the other old Germanic languages as well. However, a change from non-canonical to canonical subject... (More)
This paper contributes to an ongoing debate on the syntactic status of oblique subject-like NPs in the ‘impersonal’ construction (of the type me-thinks) in Old Germanic. The debate is caused by the lack of canonical subject case marking in such NPs. It has been argued that these NPs are syntactic objects, but we provide evidence for their subject status, as in Modern Icelandic and Faroese. Thus, we argue that the syntactic status of the oblique subject-like NPs has not changed at all from object status to subject status, contra standard claims in the literature. Our evidence stems from Old Icelandic, but the analysis has implications for the other old Germanic languages as well. However, a change from non-canonical to canonical subject case marking (‘Nominative Sickness’) has affected all the Germanic languages to a varying degree. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Linguistics
volume
39
issue
3
pages
439 - 472
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000188065000001
ISSN
0022-2267
DOI
10.1017/S002222670300207X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
41281a96-8f31-435a-b26a-8a78fd16f243 (old id 144223)
date added to LUP
2007-07-27 14:05:30
date last changed
2018-05-29 09:19:58
@article{41281a96-8f31-435a-b26a-8a78fd16f243,
  abstract     = {This paper contributes to an ongoing debate on the syntactic status of oblique subject-like NPs in the ‘impersonal’ construction (of the type me-thinks) in Old Germanic. The debate is caused by the lack of canonical subject case marking in such NPs. It has been argued that these NPs are syntactic objects, but we provide evidence for their subject status, as in Modern Icelandic and Faroese. Thus, we argue that the syntactic status of the oblique subject-like NPs has not changed at all from object status to subject status, contra standard claims in the literature. Our evidence stems from Old Icelandic, but the analysis has implications for the other old Germanic languages as well. However, a change from non-canonical to canonical subject case marking (‘Nominative Sickness’) has affected all the Germanic languages to a varying degree.},
  author       = {Barddal, Johanna and Eythorsson, Thorhallur},
  issn         = {0022-2267},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {439--472},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {Journal of Linguistics},
  title        = {The change that never happened: the story of oblique subjects},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S002222670300207X},
  volume       = {39},
  year         = {2003},
}