In German, mass nouns can be turned into count nouns by means of two alternative strategies: either by using them in connection with a numeral classifier, or by adding the diminutive morpheme (-chen). In this paper, I argue that the two strategies are structurally exactly parallel, with both kinds of elements (numeral classifiers and diminutive -chen) being exponents of an individuating functional head. The (superficial) difference is that -chen— which I show is a clitic-like element—triggers obligatory movement of the nominalized root to its Spec. By contrast, this movement is optional with a (non-deficient) numeral classifier, yielding both ‘analytic’ and ‘compound’ forms. The picture that emerges from the discussion is a unified analysis of count structures in German.
The purpose of this squib is to propose a solution to the seemingly paradoxical nature of headless relative clauses (DP-like distribution vs. CP-like form), based on cyclic Transfer of syntactic structure. The core hypothesis is that the C-head in free relatives (FRs) bears no interpretable features and is therefore removed from the derivation, along with its complement domain, upon Transfer. This leaves the wh-phrase at the edge as the only remaining element at the next cycle, where the FR consequently acts as a DP (or PP). I show that this proposal derives central differences between FRs and embedded interrogatives and sheds light on properties of FRs more generally. If the analysis is on the right track, it provides a strong argument for the cyclic-derivational nature of narrow syntax.
In this paper, I discuss a peculiar movement type found in Icelandic, known since Maling's (1980) seminal work as stylistic fronting (SF), which shifts a postverbal constituent to the left of the finite verb. SF poses nontrivial problems for syntactic theory, as it appears to contradict a number of widely-held theoretical assumptions (see Holmberg 2006 for a survey); in particular, it appears to move heads (adverbs, participles, particles) into a specifier position (Spec-T), which in addition should be occupied by a trace/copy. SF only applies in clauses with a "subject gap" (basically, embedded clauses with relativized/extracted subjects and impersonal constructions); it is semantically vacuous, optional and (for the most part) in complementary distribution with expletive-insertion. I will show that my account can derive all of these properties while relying on a minimal set of assumptions. Previously, SF in Icelandic has been analyzed as head movement (Jónsson 1991), as a subcase of topicalization (Rögnvaldsson & Thráinsson 1990), or as movement of phonological features (Holmberg 2000). I argue that these approaches are empirically and conceptually problematic and propose instead to analyze SF as EPP-driven phrasal A-movement of a (potentially remnant) XP to Spec-T. This novel approach to Icelandic SF not only allows for a unified treatment of its various manifestations but is also shown to make a number of desirable predictions concerning the observed properties and restrictions. Thus, SF turns out to be yet another phenomenon in Germanic syntax for which a remnant-movement analysis proves superior to alternative accounts.