University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


This paper discusses two ways of forming Icelandic ability predicates: one with the present participle (Ability Participles, APs) and the other with an adjectivizing affix (Ability Adjectives, AAs). We show that they each share distinct properties with passives and with middles (and differ from both). We compare the meaning of the different ability predicates; in APs, the ability relates to properties of the understood subject or the event process, whereas in AAs, the ability relates to propertes of the object. On our analysis, the adjectivizing head of AAs attaches on top of a participial structure which both APs and AAs share.