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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation is a study of the syntactic structure of noun phrases. In particular, this study focuses on the Pronoun-Noun Construction (PNC) which is composed of a non-possessive pronoun and a common noun as in We Tucsonans love rain. The core theme of this thesis lies in the idea that the PNC forms a natural class with the Demonstrative-Noun Construction (DNC). Though this idea is not radical (Giusti 1997, 2002), neither this claim nor its consequences has been adequately recognized or explored. This study advances this idea by demonstrating the existence of syntactic and semantic parallels between the PNC and the DNC. This hypothesis leads to a unified analysis of the two constructions: the pronoun merges in the specifier of an extended nominal projection and moves to [Spec, DP], on analogy with previous analyses of the structure of the DNC (Giusti 1997, 2002; Panagiotidis 2000; Rosen 2003). This proposed analysis necessitates reconsideration of important theoretical issues in syntax. In particular, the current analysis of the PNC implies a novel view of the DP-internal locus of person, which demarcates pronominal DPs from non-pronominal DPs. That is, the source of the valued person feature is the pronoun embedded in the DP, rather than the D head of the DP. This view of the locus of person leads in turn to a proposal of the agreement between PNC subject and predicate in which DP-internal agreement feeds DP-external agreement. Third, the proposed analysis of agreement provides a straightforward account for the optionality of the pronoun in the PNC across languages, if coupled with a pro-drop theory in which an empty category is postulated (e.g., Rizzi 1986). I justify the particular choice of a pro-drop theory by showing that the competing head-movement-based approaches to pro-drop (e.g., Alexiadou and Anagnostopoulou 1998) not extendable to pro-drop in the PNC. Lastly, I show that the dislocation of demonstratives and pronouns to the left periphery of DP patterns with the wh-movement to the left periphery of CP in a given language. This constitutes a new piece of evidence for the parallelism between DP and CP. Evidence used in this thesis is primarily drawn from Modern Greek and English, with additional data from Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Modern Hebrew Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.
Degree ProgramGraduate College