This thesis investigates doubling and agreement in the nominal domain in
Romance and Germanic.
In Swedish, Norwegian, and Faroese, the definite article is doubled in case
an attributive adjective modifies the noun. This doubling is known as
double definiteness. This thesis proposes that double definiteness is the
result of an intriguing interaction between the syntactic and morphological
components of the grammar. The absence of double definiteness in other
Germanic languages is attributed to morphological variation concerning the
The main part of the thesis deals with the distinction between strong and weak
adjectival inflection in the Germanic languages and its absence in the Romance
languages. This thesis proposes that agreement on attributive adjectives is
always licensed indirectly, through the help of a mediating element. In the
case of Germanic weak adjectival inflection this mediating element is
partially deactivated for independent reasons. In the case of Germanic
strong adjectival inflection as well as Romance adjectival inflection, this
mediating element is however always fully active.
On the theoretical level, this thesis proposes that the syntactic
configuration in which agreement can occur is best defined in terms of
dominance and not in terms of c-command as proposed by Chomsky (2000,
2001). It is argued that a definition in terms of dominance is both
theoretically simpler as well as empirically more adequate than a
definition in terms of c-command.