*Unfortunately, this lecture has been cancelled due to restrictions related to the coronavirus outbreak.*
Jóhanna Barðdal, Professor of Linguistics at Ghent University and currently NIAS fellow, is the guest speaker at this ACLC seminar. The title of her talk is 'Non-Nominative Subjects in Latin and Ancient Greek: Applying the Subject Tests on Early Indo-European Languages'.
Non-Nominative Subjects in Latin and Ancient Greek: Applying the Subject Tests on Early Indo-European Languages*
This research 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. Since then, comprehensive studies have been carried out on the subject behavior of non-nominative subjects in the early Germanic languages, including Gothic, Old/Middle English, Old Saxon, Old High German, Old Norse-Icelandic, and Old Swedish. Some preliminary work has been undertaken on Latin, while work on Ancient Greek is almost non-existent. In this work, we gather the Latin data provided so far, adding complementary evidence where needed; we also present a complete dataset from Ancient Greek, not figuring in the earlier literature. These data, pertaining to seven established behavioral subject tests, show beyond doubt that potential non-nominative subjects behave syntactically as nominative subjects, while an analysis in terms of object is excluded. The relevant tests are clause-bound reflexivization, long-distance reflexivization, conjunction reduction, raising-to-object, raising-to-subject, control infinitives and word order. We conclude that the combined Germanic, Latin and Greek data may indeed make it possible to reconstruct not only subject behavior in general, but also the specific subject behavior of non-nominative subjects in Proto-Indo-European.
* Joint work with Eleonora Cattafi, Laura Bruno & Serena Danesi
The ACLC seminar series is a two weekly lecture series organized by the ACLC, research school for linguistics of the Faculty of Humanities.