Presentational sentences in Icelandic and Swedish: Roles and positions

Elisabet Engdahl, Joan Maling, Halldor Armann Sigurdsson, Annie Zaenen

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paper


In this article we report on a systematic comparison of presentational sentences
in Icelandic and Swedish, looking in particular at possible thematic
roles of the pivot and how they correlate with positional options. Despite
some well-known differences between the languages (only Icelandic allows
‘high’ IP-pivots and pivots with transitive verbs), it turns out that the restrictions
on VP-pivots are similar, both in terms of roles and positions.
VP-pivots have to be Themes and may co-occur with other DPs, but only
if the pivot is the last DP argument. We show how these restrictions to some
extent reflect the argument structure proposed in Platzack (2010). In addition
we show that we need to distinguish presentational sentences among the
different Transitive Expletive Constructions discussed in Håkansson (2017).
Original languageEnglish
PublisherWorking Papers in Scandinavian Syntax
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameWorking Papers in Scandinavian Syntax
PublisherLund University
ISSN (Electronic)1100-097x

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Specific Languages

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