Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Linguistics, Icelandic, Distributed Morphology, syntax, morphosyntax, morphophonology, compounding, noun phrases, domains

Major Advisor

Prof. Jonathan Bobaljik

Co-Major Advisor

Prof. Susi Wurmbrand

Associate Advisor

Prof. Zeljko Boskovic

Associate Advisor

Prof. Andrea Calabrese

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


In this dissertation, I address the question of domains within grammar: i.e. how domains are defined, whether different components of grammar make references to the same boundaries (or at least boundary definers), and whether these boundaries are uniform with respect to different processes.

I address these questions in two case studies. First, I explore compound nouns in Icelandic and restrictions on their composition, where inflected non-head elements are structurally peripheral to uninflected ones. I argue that these effects are due to a matching condition which requires elements within compounds to match their attachment site in terms of size/type.

Following that I explore how morphophonology is regulated by the structure of the compound. I argue for a contextual definition of the domain of morphophonology, where the highest functional morpheme in the extended projection of the root marks the boundary. Under this approach a morphophonological domain can contain smaller domains analogous to phases in syntax. This allows for the morphosyntactic structure to be mapped directly to phonology while giving the impression of two contradicting structures.

I also explore the Icelandic noun phrase from this perspective. I take the structure of the noun to mirror the structure of the noun phrase and explore the placement of modifiers within the noun phrase and how different orders can be derived. I furthermore explore domains within the noun phrase through ellipsis and extraction. I argue that domains within the noun phrase are determined in the same way as domains within the noun, i.e. contextually, and appear to line up with the noun-internal domain definers.