Variation in copular agreement in Insular Scandinavian

Jutta Hartmann, Caroline Heycock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This paper explores the syntax of agreement in Insular Scandinavian in copular clauses with two potential goals for agreement. Data from three production experiments—one in Faroese and two in Icelandic— establish several new facts. First, in both languages agreement with the second nominal (DP2) is possible/preferred. Second, there is considerable variation (both within and between languages, and indeed speakers) in the patterns observed. Third, Icelandic shows a surprising pat- tern of “partial” agreement with DP2—agreement in number but not person. We discuss the implications for current theorising about agreement, proposing that in these languages, at least, agreement is downwards, and that the available agreement options depend in part on the syntactic position of DP1 when agreement is established.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSyntactic Variation in Insular Scandinavian
EditorsHöskuldur Thráinsson, Caroline Heycock, Hjalmar P. Petersen, Zakaris Svabo Hansen
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins
Number of pages42
ISBN (Electronic)9789027265593
ISBN (Print)9789027208569
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameStudies in Germanic Linguistics
PublisherJohn Benjamins


  • Faroese
  • Icelandic
  • Scandinavian
  • in-version
  • agreement
  • copular clauses
  • phi-features


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