A distributional and theoretic study of P2 clitic cluster changes in South Slavic
AuthorLewis, William D.
AdvisorLangendoen, D. Terence
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation focuses on distributional, synchronic evidence for a change that is underway within the clitic clusters of Serbo-Croatian. By comparing observed distributional differences across corpora of the various South Slavic languages, it is shown that Serbo-Croatian is exhibiting a loss of the third singular AUX clitic, something not observed in the more conservative Slovenian, yet a change that appears complete in Macedonian. The corpora used in this thesis were collected off of the World Wide Web using a special tool called a harvester, which was designed by the author. Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky 1993) was chosen as the theoretical framework with which to model the data. Because Serbo-Croatian exhibits significant variation in the degree to which the AUX clitic deletes, a unified phonological analysis is argued against in favor of an analysis that appeals to the relevant morphosyntactic features of the clitics with which the AUX is paired. Local conjunction (Smolensky 1993, 1995) is shown to be an appropriate method for expressing the relevant environments. The significant distributional differences between the environments exhibiting deletion drove the choice of the grammar. Further, the distributional differences also show that the change varies across the paradigm and across the population and likely over time. Stochastic OT (Boersma and Hayes 2001) is used to model the variation by expressing the variation using overlapping distributions that exhibit local constraint reranking.
Degree ProgramGraduate College