Alexander Peter Pfaff

Positional Predicates -- A Tale of  adjectival inflection and a life outside the DP

In this talk, I will discuss a small and largely neglected class of adjectives that have a number of rather peculiar (morpho-) syntactic and semantic properties. Starting out with a presentation of my analysis of adjectival inflection in Modern Icelandic, I will show that there is reason to believe that, differently from regular adjectives, Positional Predicates are merged DP-externally, which leads to the aforementioned peculiarities. A glimpse at Old Germanic and Classical Greek reveals that the phenomenon is not restricted to Modern Icelandic.

Some examples are given below:

(1)          a.            í    miðri   borg.inni    

                              in middle city.the                                       

                             ‘in the middle part of the city (= in the city center / downtown)’

               b.           á  öndverðri  öld.inni

                             on beginning  century.the                                 

                            ‘in the early/former part of the century’

                c.            eftir  endilöngum setaskála.num             

                               after along            building.the                                           

                              ‘from one end of the building to the other’


Elena Callegari
Published Feb. 2, 2018 2:47 PM - Last modified Feb. 5, 2018 12:13 PM