Morphosyntactic change – a case study of the verb think

Date/Time: Tue 06 Mar / 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Location: Monash University, Room E561, (Menzies Building) 20 Chancellors Walk, Clayton Campus

School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics


Morphosyntactic change – a case study of the verb think

The topic of this paper is the comparative diachronic morphosyntax of think in English, Icelandic, Swedish, and Faroese. First, there is an overview of the morphosyntactic properties of the verb in the older languages and then a comparison of their development through to the modern languages. Of particular interest here are the case marking patterns that we find and the changes that occur between the older and modern languages. In addition, I give an overview of the syntactic properties of the verb think and how these properties change across time – complement types such at that– clauses, non-finite clauses, and small clauses. The Faroese verb tykja and its cognates in Old Swedish and Middle English show a common and relatively cross-linguistically unusual case marking pattern where the experiencer argument is marked with dative case and accusative case marking occurs on the subject of a small clause/non-finite complement. The languages differ in interesting ways with respect to case-marking patterns and the syntax of the constructions exhibiting this pattern in addition to their diachronic development. The final part of the paper provides a brief overview of the outcomes of diachronic change with respect to the verb think across the languages considered here.

Dr Dianne Jonas joined the Department of English and American Studies in 2009. She has previously been Lecturer on Linguistics and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Linguistics at Harvard University. Prior to that, she was Assistant and Associate Professor at Yale University.

Her main research interests are comparative Scandinavian syntax, Icelandic and Faroese in particular, syntactic variation and change, and dialect syntax (Shetland Dialect and Norfuk English).

Teaching in winter term 2017/2018:
•Bilingual Language Acquisition
•World Englishes

Tuesday 3 Mar

12:00am – 1:30pm

Monash University
Room E561 -Faculty Seminar Room
(Menzies Building) 20 Chancellors Walk,
Clayton Campus

For further information, please contact  Jocelyne on 9905 2228.

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