"We Olaf": Pro[(x-)NP] constructions in Icelandic and beyond

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Sammanfattning

This article discusses and analyzes an unusual construction in Icelandic, with a plural pronoun in the singular reading and a directly juxtaposed or annexed NP (or DP), where, for example, vio Ólafur (literally "we.nom Olaf.nom") means 'Olaf and I'. We refer to this construction as Pro[NP]. Pro[NP] constructions have been reported for a handful of languages that lack a case system. Icelandic, in contrast, is a case language, and Pro[NP] in this language is case congruent: the pronoun and its NP/DP annex are always in the same case. No such language has to our knowledge ever been described in detail before; we provide the first in-depth investigation of case-congruent Pro[NP]. The article further compares the Icelandic construction to apparently similar constructions, including English we linguists and the Russian type of Pro[x-NP], as in my s Petej (literally "we.nom with Peter.instr"), meaning 'Peter and I', showing that the Icelandic construction differs from these, despite having similar (but not identical) semantic properties. We propose that plural personal pronouns consist of two parts: a set of variables, {X, Y}, that determine the form of the pronoun, and an NP annex, which constrains the interpretation of the Y variable. Typically, the annex is phonetically silent (bare plural pronouns), but the Icelandic construction is unusual in that the annex is partly overt, thereby allowing a rare insight into the construction of plural personal pronouns.

Originalspråkengelska
Artikelnummer16
TidskriftGlossa
Volym5
Utgåva1
DOI
StatusPublished - 2020

Bibliografisk information

Funding Information:
The research for this article was partly funded by a grant to the first author from Riksbankens Jubelumsfond, P15-0389:1. For helpful comments, information, and discussions, we thank Anders Holmberg, Cecilia Falk, David Erschler, Höskuldur Þráinsson, Martin Haspelmath, Seth Cable, Þórhallur Eyþórsson, and our many informants. Finally, we thank Johan Rooryck and our thorough reviewers.

Funding Information:
The research for this article was partly funded by a grant to the first author from Riksbankens Jubelumsfond, P15-0389:1. For helpful comments, information, and discussions, we thank Anders Holmberg, Cecilia Falk, David Erschler, H?skuldur ?r?insson, Martin Haspelmath, Seth Cable, ??rhallur Eyp?rsson, and our many informants. Finally, we thank Johan Rooryck and our thorough reviewers.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).

Copyright:
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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