Oddur Snorrason (QMUL) - 2022-23 Students

Linearity and hierarchy in syntax: Coordination asymmetries in case

My research looks at the role of linearity and hierarchy in language. Most syntactic theories argue that grammatical relations in language are based on hierarchy (e.g., Chomsky 1957) rather than linear adjacency. This project presents a novel linearity phenomenon in Icelandic coordination. When nouns with different cases are coordinated, the object is adjacent to the verb that determines case. Strikingly, this effect holds at a distance, in questions, flipping the preference. This pattern cannot be attributed to adjacency. Investigating this asymmetry will illuminate fundamental questions concerning our conception of language, more narrowly the role of case and agreement in grammar and the interaction between morphology and syntax.

Primary supervisor: Coppe van Urk, QMUL
Secondary supervisor: Prof. Hagit Borer, QMUL

Back to the top