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

From:Markus Miekk-oja <m13kk0@...>
Date:Saturday, July 30, 2005, 9:33
>Very interesting. >What exactly is "morphological case", >what exactly is "syntactical case",
I coined (afaict) the term syntactical case there in order to enable the discussion of a certain phenomenon. Namely, the fact that non-nominative subjects in some languages syntactically behave like subjects, while in others they don't. Therefore, I find it reasonable to say that non-nominatives that behave like subjects ( as far as pronominal binding, verb inflection, ellipsis in coordinate sentences, etc...) For instance: Hann segist vera duglegur, en honum finnst verknefnið of þungt. he(NOM) claims to be diligent, but he(DAT) finds the homework too hard Hann segist vera duglegur, en finnst verknefnið of þungt. He(nom) claims to be diligent but Ø(dat) finds the homework too hard. Similarly, reflexive binding: Sigga<i> bardi mig með dukkunni sinni<i>/*hennar<i> Sigga(nom) hit me with doll(dat) self's<i>/*hers<i>. Eg bardi Siggu<i> með dukkunni *sinni<i>/hennar<i> I hit Sigga with dolls *selfs/hers As we see, the reflexive only refers back to the subject in Icelandic. However, if the subject is of another case, it still refers back to it: Henni<i> þykir broðir sinni<i>/*hennar<i> leðinlegur She(DAT) considers brother(nom) self's<i>/*hers<i> boring(nom). The situation can be reversed - German, for instance, seems not to allow what Icelandic does, and I think one reasonable interpretation is that the underlying syntax is different - German doesn't allow non-nominatives in the syntactical position of subjects - (this can only be shown using syntactic trees, I'm well aware that they can go first in a sentence in German and thus look like they were in subject position).
>and what languages don't have a one-to-one correspondence between >morphological cases and syntactical cases, >and wherein does the correspondence fail to be one-to-one?
Quirky case subjects is exactly such a failure of correspondence, esp. the Icelandic system is such. The German system differs in ways that imho make the quirky subjects of German seem less subject-like than in Icelandic.
> > Reflexive pronouns in languages where reflexives only can > > refer to subjects > >/Usually/ "simple" reflexives, >as opposed to "compound" (right term?) reflexives. >Right? > >And /usually/ if reflexives can co-refer only with subjects, >they can do so "long-distance", that is, outside their own clause. >Right?
this is irrelevant to the discussion. It might be so, yes.
> > ("syntactically nominative") are surprisingly likely to also > > refer to > > non-nominative subjects. > >Really? Examples?
Icelandic. The fact that such possibilities exist at all surprise me enough that I dare say _surprisingly likely_. -- Markus _________________________________________________________________ Express yourself instantly with MSN Messenger! Download today it's FREE!


Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
tomhchappell <tomhchappell@...>