Einar Sigurðsson will be defending his dissertation proposal on Tuesday, December 8, at 3:30. The
defense will be held in Cherpack Lounge, Williams Hall 543.
The proposal document can be found at:
The abstract is below.
*Title:* Beyond active and passive: Voice and case in Icelandic
*Supervisor:* Julie Anne Legate
*Proposal committee:* David Embick, Anthony Kroch, Florian Schwarz
This proposed dissertation studies the interaction of Voice, case and implicit arguments. It provides new analyses for various understudied constructions in Icelandic where the dichotomy between active and passive breaks down. As I demonstrate, passive and active are labels for a collection of properties of VoiceP, where these properties may vary partially independently, yielding constructions that do not fit the traditional labels. I make a specific proposal regarding when and how structural accusative is assigned and when dative and genitive are assigned. I also explore when case is preserved in a derived subject position.
I argue for a clear boundary between the syntactic and the morphological component regarding how case is assigned, placing Agree and case assignment in syntax whereas a translation of case assignment into a case feature takes place in the morphological component, using dependent case algorithm.
Voice is argued to be the locus of structural accusative case assignment when Voice has a filled specifier which, crucially, is assigned structural case. Quirky case is assigned by a v-head specified for dative or genitive when Voice introduces an external argument (projected or not) or when an element in SpecVoiceP is assigned structural case.
Furthermore, I refine and improve our understanding of the nature of implicit arguments and how they interact with different Voice types. Following Landau's (2010) distinction between Weak and Strong Implicit Arguments (WIA and SIA), I extend Legate's (2014) analysis of the New Impersonal Construction to other constructions. I propose that WIAs are not always projected (pace Landau 2010) but when they are, they are assigned case. Finally, I propose that weak implicit arguments have an overtly realized counterpart, which I call Weak Explicit Arguments.
This dissertation improves our understanding of the interaction of Voice and case and makes important empirical contributions to various constructions in Icelandic.