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Re: THEORY: "Quirky" Case -- "Quirky" Subjects and "Quirky" Objects

From:Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Date:Saturday, July 30, 2005, 15:21

Markus Miekk-oja writes:
>... > and my point is that there is going on other things under the surface here. > > I can imagine that it's something like this in German: > Sp= subject phrase, VP = verb phrase. > There might be errors in here, I'm not very good at representing X-bar > with [] instead of trees. > > SP[S'[S'[S[0] [some kind of complement to the subject > phrase.dat/acc/whatever]]VP[....]]] > > but like this in Icelandic: > SP[S'[S'[S[Nom.ACC/DAT/NOM]]VP[...] > > In Icelandic, the quirky case subject commands the verb phrase by > virtue of being the head of the SP, in German it does not command the > verb phrase by virtue of not being the head of the SP.
How can this be tested *without* using the ellipsis argument? I mean, you cannot use it as a definition for what you want to prove. I'm confused.
> >In what way? Ok, there are less non-nominative subjects in German > >than in Icelandic, but in what way are they less subject-like? Often > >the typical examples of Icelandic can be translated one-to-one into > >German, keeping the cases. > > On account of not being able to take reflexives, nor to be elided in > coordinated sentences. ...
Hmm? Ok, it's obvious it can't -- the sentence is not grammatical. But you can't use that as an argument for that it can't be left out. You must use a *different* argument. Again: you said in German you cannot leave the nominative argument in the second clause because you think it's less subject-like. I asked why it is less subject like and you said because it cannot be elided in the second clause. Hmm??
> And I think this depends on them not commanding the verb phrase in > the same way that a subject normally does, and this depends on > underlying syntactic reasons.
How can that be tested? **Henrik