Skip to main content

Preposition-Stranding and Passive*

  • Joan Maling (a1) and Annie Zaenen (a2)

Various linguists working within the theory of Government and Binding (e.g. Hornstein & Weinberg (1981), Kayne (1981)) have attempted to provide a unified account of preposition-stranding. This article uses evidence from Icelandic to show that preposition-stranding is not a unified phenomenon. Although Icelandic freely allows preposition-stranding in wh-movement constructions, it lacks prepositional passives in which the prepositional object of an active verb corresponds to the grammatical subject of a passive verb. Various syntactic tests which distinguish between grammatical subjects and topicalized NPs are used to demonstrate this. Our conclusion is that while lexical reanalysis is needed to account for prepositional passives, no such reanalysis is warranted for preposition-stranding due to wh-movement; hence, an adequate theory of preposition-stranding must allow for two separate parameters.

Hide All
Andersson E. 1977. Verbfrasens struktur i svenskan — en studie i aspekt, tempus, tidsadverbial och semantisk räckvidd. Åbo, Publications of the Research Institute of the Åbo Akademi Foundation, Nr. 18.
Bresnan J. 1982. The Passive in Lexical Theory. In Bresnan (ed.) The Mental Representation of Grammatical Relations. MIT Press, pp. 386.
Ejerhed E. 1977. The Role of Surface Structure in Semantic Interpretation. In Fretheim T. and Hellan L. (eds.) Papers from the Trondheim Syntax Symposium. Department of Linguistics, University of Trondheim, pp. 2343.
Ejerhed E. 1979. Verb-partikel-konstructionen i svenska: syntaktiska och semantiska problem. In Josephson O., Strand H. and Westman M. (eds.) Förhandlingar vid sammankomst för att dryfta frågor rörande svenskans beskrivning 11, Stockholm 1978, Institutionen för nordiska språk, Stockholms universitet, pp. 4964.
Herslund M. 1984. Particles, Prefixes and Proposition Stranding. In Topics in Danish Syntax, Nydanski Studier & Almenn Kommunikationsteori NyS 14, Akademisk Forlag, pp. 3471.
Hornstein N. & Weinberg A., 1981. Case Theory and Preposition Stranding. Linguistic Inquiry 12, 5591.
Kayne R. 1981. ECP Extensions. Linguistic Inquiry 12, 93133.
Körner R. 1948. Studier över syntaktisk nybildning i svenskan. I. De prepositionella passivbildningarna med hänsyn tagen till motsvarande nybildningar i danskan, norskan och engelskan. Lund: Gleerupska univ. bokhandeln.
Maling J. 1977. A Typology of Preposition Stranding. Unpublished paper presented at GLOW conference, Amsterdam.
Rothstein S. 1982. On Preposition Stranding. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 4, pp. 245269.
Zaenen A. & Maling J. 1983. Passive and Oblique Case. In Levin L., Rappaport M. & Zaenen A. (eds.) Papers in Lexical Functional Grammar. Indiana University Linguistics Club, pp. 159191.
Zaenen A., Maling J. & Thrainsson H. 1984. Passive and Oblique Case. Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax No. 16, University of Trondheim; revised version, entitled “Case and Grammatical Functions: the Icelandic Passive,” to appear in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 3, 441483.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Nordic Journal of Linguistics
  • ISSN: 0332-5865
  • EISSN: 1502-4717
  • URL: /core/journals/nordic-journal-of-linguistics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 27 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 263 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.