Holmberg & Platzack Reloaded, Lund 2008

• The paper discusses the advantages of a morphosyntactic parametric approach vs a lexicalist approach for the analysis of expletive subjects. It is widely acknowledged that Scandinavian languages split into two groups, as the Null-Subject (macro)parameter is concerned: Island Scandinavian languages (Icelandic, Faroese), where Agreement and Case are strong, lack obligatory expletives [MIS 1990], while Mainland Scandinavian languages (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish), which have obligatory expletives, are described as having weak/no Agreement, cf. [Holmberg & Platzack 1995], [Vikner 1995], [Falk 1993].

• I assume that this perspective is right, but argue that one needs a ternary grouping of Scandinavian language, since both Mainland Scandinavian and Island Scandinavian languages deviate from the Old Norse type.
• More specifically, I claim that Modern Scandinavian overt expletives are not just a vizualization of Old Scandinavian ‘silent’ expletives and prove that Modern Island Scandinavian zero subjects and expletives are categories with a different syntactics.
• Finally, I conclude that Scandinavian data did not make necessary such radical means as revision of the Projection Principle, cf. [Babby 2002] or a non-configurational analysis, cf. [Faarlund 1995], [Faarlund 2001].


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