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Extraposition and Definiteness Effects in Icelandic DPs

Abstract

This paper investigates the morphosyntax of the Icelandic DP, following work by Sigurdsson (1993, 2006); Julien (2005). In addition to providing an analysis of the basic structure of the Icelandic DP, this paper investigates two (apparent) movements within the DP: one involving the definite suffix -inn, and one involving pronominal possessors (e.g. minn 'my'). I show that the fronting of pronominal possessors cannot be analyzed as movement and instead must indicate a use of pronominal possessors as demonstratives. In contrast, the suffixed article does involve movement, and I argue that it is phrasal movement, contra the head movement accounts proposed by Sigurdsson (1993, 2006). I show that an analysis where the prenominal article and suffixed article occupy the same position cannot be maintained, which is surprising given that they never surface at the same time. Coupled with this is a requirement, that PP complements to N extrapose to the right edge of DP, which is thus another case of the strange behavior of complements to N in Scandinavian languages (see Hankamer and Mikkelsen (2005, 2008) on Danish). Finally, I briefly investigate the syntax of some cases in English where apparent semantic complements do not occupy a syntactic complement position.

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