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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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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).

CUP at LINGUIST

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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