Seminar: Alexander Pfaff on modification and definiteness marking in the history of Icelandic
Alexander Pfaff is our first speaker this autumn.
Alexander Pfaff is a postdoc on the project Noun phrases in early Germanic, ILOS and his talk is entitled Patterns of modification and definiteness marking in the history of Icelandic. Abstract below:
"This talk takes a diachronic look at adjectivally modified definite noun phrases in Icelandic. The first part is primarily descriptive and gives a (partial) overview of the diversity observed (a diversity that is only visible in the presence of an adjective!). Particular attention will be paid to the definiteness markers -inn, hinn, sá. The second part of the talk takes a more abstract look at the data. Two aspects will be discussed in some detail: (i) the different status of the suffixed article -inn in Old vs. Modern Icelandic, and (ii) the fact that sá becomes the dominant “adjectival” article during the 16th century apparently replacing hinn in that function. The same development had in fact taken place earlier in Mainland Scandinavian. Differently from the latter, however, in Icelandic, the process is reversed during the 19th century and hinn becomes the dominant adjectival article once more, albeit not the dominant pattern."
The seminar will be followed by snacks and refreshments.