University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


In this paper I explore the different orders of elements found within the Icelandic definite noun phrase where four main patterns are observed: i) ARTICLE > NUMERAL > ADJECTIVE > NOUN > GENITIVE > PP; ii) NOUN- ARTICLE > NUMERAL > ADJECTIVE > GENITIVE > PP; iii) ADJECTIVE > NOUN-ARTICLE > NUMERAL > GENITIVE > PP; and iv) GENITIVE > NUMERAL > ADJECTIVE > NOUN > PP. Previous approaches, working under the assumption that the order in (ii) did not exist, focussed on the derivation of (iii) from (i), generally assuming the fronting of the adjective to be a single movement operation. In recent years, however, it has been shown that not only does the order in (ii) exist, but the choice between (i-iii) is not semantically neutral. Hence to account for the order in (ii), I propose that the fronting of the adjective and noun to be a result of two separate movement operations: head movement of N to D and phrasal movement of AP to Spec-DP. I propose that the orders in (ii-iv) are a direct result of D’s attractiveness.