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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Case alternations in Icelandic ‘get’-passives
Author: Einar Freyr Sigurðsson
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Author: Jim Wood
Institution: Yale University
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Abstract: The analysis of ‘get’-passives across Germanic poses a number of challenges to our understanding of valency alternations: they exhibit surprising case alternations and recalcitrant thematic properties (Alexiadou 2012, Alexiadou, Anagnostopoulou & Sevdali to appear). In this article, we present novel data on ‘get’-passives in Icelandic; while Icelandic has played an important role in our understanding of case marking and valency alternations, ‘get’-passives have not, to our knowledge, been studied in this language before. By situating ‘get’-passives within the landscape of well-established case patterns of Icelandic, we are able to argue in favor of the following conclusions: (i) Icelandic ‘get’-passives involve unambiguously verbal passives; (ii) the surface subject of recipient ‘get’-passives (‘I got a letter sent to me’) does not originate as the dative indirect object of the passive participle, but rather originates as an (external) argument of ‘get’; and (iii) at least some intransitive ‘get’-passives (‘This got changed’) involve anticausativization of the corresponding causative ‘get’-passive (‘I got this changed’), as proposed for English by Haegeman (1985).


This article appears IN Nordic Journal of Linguistics Vol. 35, Issue 3.

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