LINGUIST List 12.2192

Fri Sep 7 2001

Books: Icelandic Linguistics

Editor for this issue: Richard John Harvey <>

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  1. Johanna Barddal, Icelandic Linguistics: Case in Icelandic, Johanna Barddal

Message 1: Icelandic Linguistics: Case in Icelandic, Johanna Barddal

Date: 29 Aug 2001 13:59:05 -0000
From: Johanna Barddal <>
Subject: Icelandic Linguistics: Case in Icelandic, Johanna Barddal

Case in Icelandic - A Synchronic, Diachronic and Comparative Approach 
by Johanna Barddal

This dissertation addresses the question of what the function of
morphological case is in Icelandic. The working hypotheses of this
book is that morphological case is a multifunctional
category. Firstly, new verbs in Icelandic were collected and examined
to cast light on the productivity of the morphological cases,
revealing that not only are the nominative and accusative productive
in Icelandic but also the dative. Secondly, a text-based investigation
was conducted to find out what the statistical correlation is between
morphological case, syntactic functions and thematic roles. Thus, a
well-stratified corpus was compiled, containing Modern Icelandic texts
from five written genres and one spoken genre. The study showed that
there is a correlation between morphological case and both syntactic
and semantic factors. Thirdly, a similar corpus was compiled for Old
Icelandic, containing four genres which are closest in content to the
Modern Icelandic genres. Some frequency differences were found between
the two corpora, reflecting a change in the use of morphological case
from Old to Modern Icelandic. Fourthly, a comparison of the
development of case in English, Swedish and German revealed that the
internal order of the changes within the case system is the same for
the Germanic languages considered, with English leading the
development, followed closely by Swedish, then German, and Icelandic
lagging behind. The theoretical approach adopted in this work is that
of Construction Grammar and the Usage-based model. The book also
provides a critical view of the generative distinction between
structural and lexical/idiosyncratic case.

Paperback, ISBN 91-628-4898-4, Year 2001, 279 pp.
250 SKR / approx. USD 25.00 

The book is for sale at the Scandinavian department at Lund University, Sweden
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Monday, July 23, 2001