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The Linguistic Review

Editor-in-Chief: van der Hulst, Harry

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Volume 35, Issue 3


Dative intervention is a gang effect

Andrew Murphy
Published Online: 2018-06-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2018-0004


This paper addresses two restrictions regarding agreement with nominative arguments in Icelandic DAT-NOM constructions. The first is the reported asymmetry in intervention effects in mono-clausal versus bi-clausal environments. The second regards the well-known Person Restriction that prohibits agreement with non-3rd person arguments. It is argued that both of these phenomena can be viewed as instances of cumulative constraint interaction, where less important constraints in the grammar ‘gang up’ to block some higher constraint. In order to account for this, I adopt a model of syntax with both weighted constraints and serial optimization that is known as Serial Harmonic Grammar in the phonological literature. It will be demonstrated that such a system can offer a more principled analysis of the construction-specific nature of the aforementioned phenomena.

Keywords: agreement; dative intervention; Icelandic; person restriction


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-06-12

Published in Print: 2018-09-25

Citation Information: The Linguistic Review, Volume 35, Issue 3, Pages 519–574, ISSN (Online) 1613-3676, ISSN (Print) 0167-6318, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2018-0004.

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