Elena Callegari and Anton Karl Ingason
2021. Topicalization: The IO/DO Asymmetry in Icelandic. Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax 105 (2021), 1-17. [PDF]
Publication year: 2021

In this paper, we investigate differences in the frequency of direct-object versus indirect-object topicalization (i.e. fronting with no accompanying pronominal resumption) in Icelandic using the Icelandic Parsed Historical Corpus. We find that the overall incidence of DO topicalization is double that of IO left topicalization. We argue that this follows from the cross-linguistic preference towards having topical information appear before focal one: while DO topicalization can help ensure that this configuration is obtained when the IO is in focus, there is nothing to gain from topicalizing the IO when the DO is in focus, as IO > DO is already the unmarked order in Icelandic.


author = {Callegari, Elena and Anton Karl Ingason},
journal = {Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax},
title = {Topicalization: The IO/DO Asymmetry in Icelandic},
year = {2021},
pages = {1--17},
volume = {105},