Jóhanna Barðdal

Jóhanna Barðdal
Ghent University | UGhent · Department of Linguistics

PhD
Series Editor: Brill's Studies in Historical Linguistics – Founding Co-Editor: Journal of Historical Linguistics

About

103
Publications
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2,122
Citations
Citations since 2016
32 Research Items
1273 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
Introduction
Jóhanna Barðdal works at the Department of Linguistics, Ghent University. Her work focuses on argument structure, case marking, grammatical relations, verbal semantics, historical linguistics and construction grammar. Her research has been funded by major funding bodies such as the Icelandic Research Council, the Swedish STINT Foundation, the Norwegian Trond Mohn Foundation, the Norwegian Research Council, the European Research Council, and NIAS (Netherland's Institute for Advanced Study).

Publications

Publications (103)
Chapter
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What is a subject? This question is the essence of the “oblique subject” problem, i.e. the problem of how to analyze syntactic relations for non-canonically case-marked subject-like arguments that deviate from the transitive canon, both within a language but also across languages. The answer to the question of what a subject is should be the starti...
Preprint
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For a long time one of the most bewildering conundrums of Indo-European linguistics has been the issue of how to reconstruct the alignment system of this ancient language state, given the lack of distinction between S and O marking in the Proto-Indo-European neuters nouns and the problem of the Hittite ergative. An additional complication stems fro...
Preprint
Full-text available
This article responds to a call for research, made by Hock (1990) exactly 30 years ago, on the subject behavior of potential non-nominative subjects in Latin and Ancient Greek, two classical languages of Indo-European origin. Hock's call was made in the wake of research on behavioral properties of non-nominative subjects in several modern languages...
Preprint
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In this article we introduce to the scholarship a previously unidentified verbal root for the Indo-European proto language, *menkʷ-'lack', based on verbal and nominal reflexes in Italic, Indo-Iranian, Germanic, Tocharian and Anatolian. In four of five Indo-European subgroups, verbs/predicates are found occurring with a subject(-like) argument in a...
Book
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During several decades, syntactic reconstruction has been more or less regarded as a bootless and an unsuccessful venture, not least due to the heavy criticism in the 1970s from scholars like Watkins, Jeffers, Lightfoot, etc. This fallacious view culminated in Lightfoot’s (2002: 625) conclusion: “[i]f somebody thinks that they can reconstruct gramm...
Article
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The goal of this article is to introduce to the field a particular subtype of valency-reducing strategies, referred to as oblique anticausativization below. This subtype differs from more common and better known dependent-marking types, such as, for instance, the canonical anticausative. Instead, oblique anticausatives are characterized by the pres...
Preprint
Full-text available
The term grammaticalization originally denoted a particular outcome of language change (lexis > morphology), then got expanded to i) practically all studies involving language change, ii) the process that creates such changes, and iii) a theory modeling these. All but the first uses have been challenged in the literature as conceptually flawed. Ind...
Article
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The semantic range of ditransitive verbs in Modern English has been at the center of linguistic attention ever since the pioneering work of Pinker (1989. Learnability and cognition: The acquisition of argument structure . Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press). At the same time, historical research on how the semantics of the ditransitive construction has cha...
Article
Full-text available
For a long time one of the most bewildering conundrums of Indo- European linguistics has been the issue of how to reconstruct the alignment system of this ancient language state, given the lack of distinction between s and o marking in the Proto-Indo-European neuter nouns and the problem of the Hittite ergative. An additional complication stems fro...
Article
Full-text available
A long-standing divide between Icelandic and German in the literature takes for granted that there are non-nominative subjects in Icelandic, while corresponding arguments in German have been analyzed as objects ( Zaenen et al. 1985 ; Sigurðsson 1989 ). This is based on two differences between these languages: (a) differences with regard to control...
Preprint
Full-text available
To appear in Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 56, in a special issue on Morphosyntactic Isoglosses in Indo-European, ed. by Artemij Keidan, Leonid Kulikov & Nicolaos Lavidas.
Book
Full-text available
Interest in non-canonically case-marked subjects has been unceasing since the groundbreaking work of Andrews and Masica in the late 70's who were the first to document the existence of syntactic subjects in another morphological case than the nominative. Their research was focused on Icelandic and South-Asian languages, respectively, and since then...
Preprint
Full-text available
The semantic range of ditransitive verbs in Modern English has been at the center of linguistics attention ever since the pioneering work of Green (1974), Gropen et al. (1989) and Pinker (1989), while historical research on how the semantics of the ditransitive construction has changed over time has been seriously lagging behind. In order to addres...
Article
Full-text available
Modality can be expressed through a variety of different linguistic means within and across languages, of which one manifestation is through noncanonical case marking of the subject. In Ancient Greek several predicates show a systematic alternation between constructions with nominative and oblique subjects, which coincides with a difference in mean...
Article
Full-text available
A subject analysis of oblique subject-like arguments remains controversial even across modern languages where the available data are not finite: while such arguments are considered syntactic subjects in Icelandic, they have more often been analyzed as objects in Lithuanian, for example. This issue has been left relatively neglected for the ancient...
Article
Full-text available
The “dative of agent” construction in the Indo-European languages is most likely inherited from Proto-Indo-European (Hettrich 1990). Two recent proposals (Danesi 2013; Luraghi 2016), however, claim that the construction contains no agent at all. Luraghi argues that it is a secondary development from an original beneficiary function, while Danesi ma...
Article
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A surprisingly large number of verbs that signify 'succeed' across the Indo-European language family derive from metaphorical extensions of the same verbal meaning, namely that of motion. This use, in and of itself, is not necessarily noteworthy, as semantic change often proceeds from concrete to abstract and recurrent metaphors reflect certain sha...
Article
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A major argument against the feasibility of reconstructing syntax for proto-stages is the widely discussed lack of directionality of syntactic change. In a recent typology of changes in argument structure constructions based on Germanic (Barðdal 2015), several different, yet opposing, changes are reported. These include, among others, processes som...
Chapter
Full-text available
Possession is an abstract domain of human conceptualization whose expression may be based on different cognitive structures. Heine (1997) identifies a small set of basic conceptual patterns that express predicative possession across the languages of the world. Vedic has three of these patterns exemplified by i) a genitive construction (with a genit...
Article
Full-text available
Interest in syntactic reconstruction was implicit in the work of the founding fathers of the Comparative Method, including Franz Bopp and his contemporaries. The Neo-Grammarians took a more active interest in syntactic issues, concentrating especially on comparative descriptive syntax. In the 20th century, typologically-inspired research gave rise...
Research
Full-text available
It is argued by Hettrich (1990) that the " dative of agent " construction in the Indo-European languages most likely continues a construction inherited from Proto-Indo-European. In two recent proposals (Danesi 2013, Luraghi 2016), it is argued that the " dative of agent " contains no agent at all, although the two proposal differ with regard to the...
Research
Full-text available
A long-standing divide between Icelandic and German in the literature takes for granted that there are non-nominative subjects in Icelandic, while corresponding arguments in German have been analyzed as objects (Zaenen, Maling & Thráinsson 1985, Sigurðsson 1989). This is based on two differences between these languages, a) differences with regard t...
Research
Full-text available
A subject analysis of oblique subject-like arguments remains controversial even across the modern languages where the available data are not finite: while such arguments are considered syntactic subjects in Icelandic, they have more often been analyzed as objects in Lithuanian, for example. This issue has been left relatively unattended for the anc...
Research
Full-text available
Modality is expressed by a variety of means, including non-canonical subject case marking. In Ancient Greek several predicates show a systematic alternation between constructions with nominative and oblique subjects, with the latter yielding a modal meaning. The modality cannot be derived from the meaning of the parts of the construction—neither fr...
Research
Full-text available
As a reaction to three different proposals on how to reconstruct basic word order for Proto-Indo-European, Watkins and his contemporaries in the Seventies succeeded in aborting any attempt at reconstructing syntax for a long time to come. As a consequence, syntactic reconstruction has generally been regarded as a stranded enterprise by historical l...
Article
Full-text available
One of the functions of the dative is to mark non-prototypical subjects, i. e. subjects that somehow deviate from the agentive prototype. The Germanic languages, as all subbranches of Indo-European (cf. Barðdal et al. 2012. Reconstructing constructional semantics: The dative subject construction in Old Norse‐Icelandic, Latin, Ancient Greek, Old Rus...
Research
Full-text available
Interest in syntactic reconstruction was implicit in the work of the founding fathers of the Comparative Method, including Franz Bopp and his contemporaries. The Neo-Grammarians took a more active interest in syntactic issues, concentrating especially on comparative descriptive syntax. In the 20th century, typologically-inspired research gave rise...
Chapter
Full-text available
The present chapter gives an overview of valency classes in Icelandic and the most common, noticeable, or productive alternations found in the language. The overview is based on my own native-speaker knowledge of the language, on my earlier research and on the existing literature on Icelandic. Most of the examples are attested, taken from real text...
Book
Full-text available
Construction Grammar as a framework offers a new perspective on traditional historical questions in diachronic linguistics and language change: how do new constructions arise, how should competition in diachronic variation be accounted for, how do constructions fall into disuse, and how do constructions change in general, formally and/or semantical...
Chapter
Full-text available
The main goal of this chapter is to discuss the value of the Construction Grammar framework to solving perceived problems with diachronic syntax. As such, one part of this chapter provides a condensed review of previous research in diachronic syntax, including a brief discussion of why many linguists have doubted the value of such work. While most...
Article
Full-text available
The diachrony of valency patterns is generally an understudied phenomenon. The present article investigates anticausativization from a diachronic perspective, highlighting the parameters determining the morphosyntactic encoding of this type of intransitivization in two early Western Indo-European languages, Latin and Old Norse-Icelandic. It is show...
Article
Full-text available
A long-standing divide between Icelandic and German in the literature takes for granted that there are non-nominative subjects in Icelandic, while corresponding arguments in German have been analyzed as objects (Zaenen, Maling & Thráinsson 1985, Sigurðsson 1989). This is based on two differences between these languages, a) differences with regard t...
Article
Full-text available
In contrast to the received consensus in the historicalcomparative linguistic community, we argue that syntactic reconstruction is both a plausible and a feasible enterprise. We illustrate this with an investigation of the syntactic behavior of *wai 'woe' across five subbranches of Indo- European, i.e. Indo-Iranian, Italic, Baltic, Slavic and Germa...
Article
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The enigma of the origin of non-canonical subject marking in the world’s languages has been met with two competing hypotheses: the Object-to-Subject Hypothesis and the Oblique Subject/Semantic Alignment Hypothesis (cf. Eythórsson and Barðdal, 2005). The present article argues in favor of the Oblique Subject/Semantic Alignment Hypothesis, presenting...
Article
Full-text available
As the historical linguistic community is well aware, reconstructing semantics is a notoriously difficult undertaking. Such reconstruction has so far mostly been carried out on lexical items, like words and morphemes, and has not been conducted for larger and more complex linguistic units, which intuitively seems to be a more intricate task, especi...
Article
Full-text available
Syntactic reconstruction has long been virtually outlawed in historical‐comparative research, more or less ever since Watkins’s influential works on the problems of reconstructing word order for Proto‐Indo‐European. Recently, through the emergence of Construction Grammar, where complex syntactic structures are regarded as form–function pairings, a...
Article
Full-text available
Languages differ in the number of cases that are realized morphologically. This raises the question whether case systems are the same across languages. GB theory generally adopts a rigid view: at least the four basic cases (nominative, accusative, dative and genitive) are universally present, although sometimes not spelled out. In this chapter we w...
Article
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This article takes issue with the two dichotomies of structural vs. lexical case and thematic vs. idiosyncratic case, on the basis of their predictions on: (a) synchronic productivity, (b) language change, and (c) language acquisition. It is shown here that these predictions are not borne out in Icelandic. In fact, productivity data from Icelandic...
Chapter
Full-text available
The theory of Construction Grammar, where all linguistic units, including syntactic units, are treated as a pairing of form and function, allows for syntactic reconstruction. On a constructional account, there is no fundamental difference between sentences and words. Therefore, if words can be reconstructed as form–function correspondences, on the...
Article
Full-text available
Dative Substitution, i.e. the change from accusative to dative subjects, has been explained in the generative literature as thematic case marking ousting idiosyncratic case marking (cf. Jónsson, 2003; Jónsson and Eythórsson, 2005). A major anomaly for this account is the late onset of Dative Substitution, not documented in Icelandic texts until the...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we show that the semantic characterization of the English ditransitive construction, primarily based on the concept of transfer and generally assumed in the international literature within Construction Grammar, is insufficient for the remaining branches of Germanic, in particular for the West-Scandinavian languages, both modern and...
Chapter
Full-text available
Recent research on subject-like obliques in Germanic suggests that non- canonically-case-marked subject-like arguments behave syntactically as subjects not only in Modern Icelandic and Modern Faroese, but also in Modern German, Old Norse-Icelandic, Old Swedish and Early Middle English. This research calls into question the hypothesis that oblique o...
Chapter
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This article explores the main aspects of the reduction/loss of case and the decay of case marking systems. The general mechanisms which lead to the merger of case and case syncretism and, eventually, to the loss of (some) cases include: phonetic processes which result in the loss of the difference between two or more case forms, that is, erosion o...
Book
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Quotes “An important book, clarifying the concept of productivity, which is often used in the language sciences but is seldom clearly defined. Apart from providing an illuminating meta-analysis, Barðdal develops an original theory of the productivity of case and argument structure constructions.” — Jordan Zlatev, Lund University & Copenhagen Busine...
Article
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As indicated by the title, this volume focuses on (i) the cognitive grounding of construction grammar (henceforth CxG), (ii) its theoretical extensions, and (iii) the plurality of construction grammar(s), with one (introductory) chapter on the first part, and four chapters on each of the two other parts. This is the third book in a new series on co...
Article
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Current analyses of the semantic structure of the ditransitive construction in English assume that the construction consists of approximately nine semantic subconstructions, namely those of actual, intended, retained and metaphorical transfer (and some corresponding subconstructions). An examination of the ditransitive construction in Icelandic rev...
Article
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This paper discusses the syntactic similarities and dierences in the behav- ior of subject-like obliques in the Obl-V-(XP) construction in Icelandic and German. Research on this construction so far has suggested that the subject-like oblique behaves as a syntactic subject in Icelandic, but as an object in German. Data from German are presented whic...
Article
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We argue that subject-like obliques of the impersonal construction show behavioral properties of syntactic subjects in Old Germanic, contrary to standard assumptions (Cole et al. 1980). Subject tests, including control infinitives, reveal that subject-like obliques in Old and Early Middle English, Old Swedish, and Old Norse-Icelandic exhibit behavi...
Article
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This paper contributes to an ongoing debate on the syntactic status of oblique subject-like NPs in the ‘impersonal’ construction (of the type me-thinks) in Old Germanic. The debate is caused by the lack of canonical subject case marking in such NPs. It has been argued that these NPs are syntactic objects, but we provide evidence for their subject s...
Book
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This book volume addresses the question of what the function of morphological case is in Icelandic. The working hypotheses is that-morphological case is a multifunctional category. Firstly, new verbs in Icelandic were collected and examined to cast light on the productivity of the morphological cases, revealing that not only are the nominative and...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents data from Modern Icelandic of a small group of Dat-Nom verbs which select for two arguments: a Dative human argument and a Nominative stimulus.When applying independently established subjecthood tests on these arguments it turns out that both pass the tests, i.e. both arguments can behave like subjects and like objects, but not...