Syntax/Semantics Reading Group, 2/26 — Jacob Hoover

The next syntax-semantics reading group meeting will take place Wednesday February 26 at 3:30 in room 117. Jacob will be presenting work entitled: Accounting for variation in number agreement in Icelandic DAT-NOM constructions.
Abstract: I investigate Icelandic constructions where the subject takes dative, and the object takes nominative, using the ‘feature gluttony’ mechanism for agreement proposed by Coon and Keine (2019) <https://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/004224>. Literature on Icelandic (Sigurðsson and Holmberg, 2008) describes systematic variation in number agreement across speakers being organized into three separate varieties: Icelandic A, B and C. I propose that the differences between varieties can be explained by two independent parameters:

1) The order of probing and movement operations, and
2) Whether dative subject DPs have a visible number feature.
The proposal captures the patterns reported in the data and gives a principled description of this example of syntactic variation, predicting observed optionality with ambiguity in the grammar.

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