Hvor ‘Each’ Reciprocals and Distributives in Icelandic: E-Raising + Short Main Verb Movement

Halldór Ármann Sigurosson, Jim Wood, Einar Freyr Sigurosson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We discuss remarkable constructions in Icelandic that have the distributive pronoun hvor ‘each’ in common: the reciprocal construction hvor annar ‘each other’, and the distributive construction hvor sinn ‘each their’, which also comes in a sinn hvor ‘their each’ version. We provide the first detailed description of these constructions, in particular their case and word order properties, which raise recalcitrant puzzles, and then we discuss what they say about the syntax of nonfinite verbs. Specifically, the word order and case properties of these constructions indicate that nonfinite verbs in Icelandic undergo short verb movement within the verb phrase. That is, the evidence indicates that the leftmost element in these constructions, alternatively hvor or sinn, originates inside an object DP and moves, by what we call e-raising, to the base position of an antecedent with which it agrees, before being stranded by that very antecedent. Nevertheless, the verb appears to the left of this element, even when it is a nonfinite verb, showing that it must undergo short movement to the left of Spec,vP. In addition, the interaction of e-raising and case has important consequences for Case theory, as it indicates that case agreement and case marking take place in PF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-588
Number of pages18
JournalLinguistic Inquiry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul 6

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Specific Languages


  • case
  • distributives
  • e-raising
  • Icelandic
  • reciprocals
  • short verb movement
  • word order
  • ‘each’


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