Evading agreement: A new perspective on low nominative agreement in Icelandic

Jutta Hartmann, Caroline Heycock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


One of the various aspects of Icelandic syntax that is well-established in the literature is that it allows agreement with nominative DPs that are not in the canonical subject position. In this paper we present one of the least-studied cases in Icelandic where there may be agreement with a “low nominative:” namely agreement in specificational copular clauses. These cases are of particular interest because, in contrast to most other configurations, agreement with the low nominative appears to involve “skipping” agreement with a higher argument that is also nominative. Further, as we will show, agreement is possible not only for Num- ber but also for Person, providing another counterexample to the putative generalization that agreement for Person is always strictly local (Baker 2008).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNELS 46
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Forty-Sixth Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society
EditorsChristopher Hammerly, Brandon Prickett
Place of PublicationAmherst, MA, USA
PublisherGLSA Publications
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781539105206
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2016
EventNELS 46 - Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
Duration: 16 Oct 201518 Oct 2015


ConferenceNELS 46


  • syntax
  • agreement
  • Icelandic


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