• The contrastive reading of Japanese -wa, and the role of information structure

      Deguchi, Masanori; Western Washington University (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2010)
      In this study, I investigate the distribution of the contrastive reading associated with the so-called Japanese topic marker –wa. The main goal is two-fold. First, I examine two previous approaches, which I call the “predicate-based approach,” and the “argument-based approach” respectively, and demonstrate that they are not sufficient to capture some empirical data. Second, based on the observation that wa-phrases in all-focus and subject-focus sentences induce the contrastive reading, I argue and demonstrate that the contrastive reading arises when wa-phrases are part of focus.
    • On nominal arguments

      Punske, Jeffrey; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2010)
      This paper presents a formal account of the critical difference between standard nominalization and “mixed nominalization” (aka. nominal gerunds) of Chomsky (1970). Using patterns of morphological/syntactic distribution, binding properties, polarity effects and lexical semantic variation, I show that nominal gerunds which have been considered to be near identical to derived nominals are in fact quite distinct. I show that “object arguments” (understood objects of the root) of nominal gerunds fail every test of argumenthood and that the structural relations within these constructions are significantly different than those of derived nominals and verb phrases.
    • Relativization in Aramaic-Syriac

      Skaf, Roula; University of Aix en Provence (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 2010)
      This paper is a preliminary approach to relativization in Syriac, which is a dialect of Aramaic, a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic family. This study will concentrate on the morpheme ‘d-’ as a “relative morpheme”. In the introduction I will quote other dialects of Aramaic, including oriental/Westerner and neo-Aramaic.