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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, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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