Ellipsis as a Diagnostic Tool of Feature Strength and the Syntactic Structure of Ilocano
AuthorAnderson, Michael Don
Committee ChairKarimi, Simin
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation examines Ilocano, an Austronesian Filipino language, within the Minimalist Framework, in an effort to tease apart the general syntactic properties of the language. I show that Ilocano underlying structure can easily be captured within the standard syntactic structures proposed for languages generally (Universal Grammar). In my examination of ellipsis in Ilocano, I concern myself strictly with syntactic and not semantic properties. I show that syntactic feature distribution (e.g. [+FOC], [+NEG], [+DET]) in combination with the two basic operations of the Minimalist Program: FEATURE-CHECKING and MERGE can account for both the underlying structure of Ilocano utterances as well as the word-order at Spell-Out, without making any stipulations not found in languages generally.My research also reveals new insights and corrects existing assumptions about certain previously undiscovered underlying structural properties of Ilocano. I account for the restrictive word ordering and structure found in Ilocano by assigning a universally applicable, non-controversial set of functional and lexical features to morphemes. These features satisfy, individually or collectively, feature-checking requirements in the language, resulting in the attested output of Ilocano. The types of ellipsis considered as a diagnostic toward that end are: NP-ellipsis, Bare Argument Ellipsis/Stripping, Gapping, Sluicing and Psuedogapping. I argue that the primary mechanism which licenses ellipsis in Ilocano is FOCUS-RAISING which allows extraction of remnant material prior to ellipsis of the TP in the case of all verbal-type ellipsis in Ilocano; or the DP in terms of Ilocano NP-ellipsis.