Inside and outside – Before and after
Icelandic has four (definite) article – adjective – noun patterns. In this paper, I present novel data, and put “old” data in a new perspective. I will argue that weakly inflected adjectives (patterns I – III) are merged <i>inside</i> the DP below the definite article, whereas strongly inflected adjectives (pattern IV) are merged <i>outside</i> DP, at least above the definite article. What distinguishes the weak patterns visibly is whether the adjective/(adjective plus) noun occurs <i>before</i> or <i>after</i> the article. Some researchers surmise that “non-restrictive adjectives are only direct modifiers and restrictive ones only indirect modifiers” (Cinque 2010: 140). Strong pattern (IV) adjectives are never restrictive, whereas certain weak adjectives may be. Against expectations, I will argue that weak adjectives in Icelandic are direct modifiers, whereas strong adjectives are indirect modifiers. I suggest that the criterion ± restrictive as such may not be relevant to properly characterize Icelandic adjectival patterns.