• Aspect in Cherokee Nominals

      Stone, Megan Schildmier; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2012)
      In this paper I present evidence from Cherokee (Iroquoian, Southern Iroquoian) which refutes accounts of the distinction between process and result nominals based on the presence or absence of AspectP in the nominal’s functional structure. I argue that Cherokee has result nominals which contain aspect morphology, directly contradicting the proposal of Alexiadou (2001) that such nominals must lack an AspectP, and suggest that some other mechanism must be at play to account for the syntactic and semantic differences between result and process nominals.
    • Can Idioms Be Passivized?: Evidence from Online Processing

      Stone, Megan Schildmier; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2013)
      This paper presents the results of an experiment designed to access native speakers’ underlying grammatical knowledge concerning the passivizability of English Verb-Object (VO) idioms. Although it has long been noted that some VO idioms retain their idiomatic meaning in the passive while others do not (Katz & Postal 1964, et seq.), the source of this variation is unclear, and native speaker intuitions on a large number of idioms are not as clear cut as previous accounts might suggest. Taking as a starting point Folli and Harley’s (2007) hypothesis that there is a structural distinction between passivizable and nonpassivizable idioms, the current study tests one prediction of this hypothesis, namely that there should be a categorical distinction between the two types of idioms in the grammars of native speakers. The experimental results contradict this hypothesis, as evidenced by a normal distribution of response times to passive idioms. However, it is hypothesized that this online task is not appropriate to access the fine-tuned syntactico-semantic judgments underlying native speaker intuitions of idiom passivizability, due to the fact that the methodology employed here—a self-paced reading task—does not yield the expected results even for canonically passivizable and nonpassivizable idioms.