Deguchi, Masanori (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.
Ussery, Cherlon (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
This paper uses case and agreement patterns to argue for a reformulation of Agree (Chomsky 1995, 2000, 2001). Throughout syntactic literature, various proposals that account for the assignment of case and agreement have been made. Chomsky (1991) proposes that different projections are responsible for the two types of features. Case is assigned in Spec,TP, while agreement is established in Spec,AgrP. By contrast, Agree divorces feature checking from movement (Bobaljik and Wurmbrand 2005, Wurmbrand 2006). Case and agreement are assigned under c-command via the same Agree operation. A head, T, checks the case of a DP with a matching case feature and, in turn, that DP checks the agreement features on T. The prediction, therefore, is that case and agreement should necessarily pattern together: verbs should agree with DPs that are in a case relationship with T. I provide evidence not only that case and agreement features may pattern differently, but also that individual agreement features may pattern differently. As such, I argue that features on heads – not heads themselves – are probes. While I argue that case and phi features are not an indivisible bundle, I maintain the proposal that feature-checking need not force movement to a specifier, thus eliminating the need for independent agreement projections. Additionally, I illustrate probing is not restricted to c-command. I redefine Agree so as to allow a probe-goal relation to be established either under c-command or in a spec-head configuration.
Nomoto, Hiroki (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
Dayal's (2004) theory of kind terms accounts for the definiteness and number marking patterns in kind terms in many languages. Brazilian Portuguese has been claimed to be a counter-example to her theory as it seems to allow bare “singular” kind terms, which are predicted to be impossible according to her theory. However, the empirical status of the relevant data has not been clear so far. This paper presents a new data point from Singlish and confirms the existence of bare “singular” kind terms. A revised theory of kind terms is proposed that accounts for it. The proposed theory puts forth a number system with three basic categories, i.e. singular, plural and general. It is claimed that bare “singular” kind terms are in fact derived from general NPs, which are associated with number-neutral properties. The paper also discusses why bare “singular” kind terms are not perfectly acceptable in Brazilian Portuguese.
Ouyang, Iris Chuoying (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
Isbukun, a major dialect of Bunun, is one of the Austronesian languages spoken in Taiwan. According to the Taiwan government statistics in 2009, Bunun had a population of 51,447, around half of which were registered as Isbukun. As Mandarin and Southern Min are the predominant languages, the Austronesian languages in Taiwan including Bunun are endangered. This study investigates word stress in Isbukun Bunun from the perspective of Optimality Theory. In particular, the stress patterns of monomorphemic and compound words, derivational and inflectional suffixed words, and words with clitics are explored. In Isbukun Bunun, a single quantity-sensitive trochee formed at the right edge of a word. Consequently, prefixation is generally irrelevant to footing, whereas suffixation closely interacts with stress placement. This paper presents two types of extrametricality along with quantitative adjustment that are found in suffixed words. Morphological extrametricality prevents inflectional suffixes and clitics from being footed and thereby prosodically distinguishes derivation and compounds from inflection and clitics. Positional extrametricality avoids forming a foot at the left edge of a root, which only emerges in derivational words, because inflectional words are required to fulfill morphological extrametricality first. In addition, since feet are constructed at the end of a word and derivational suffixes are allowed to be footed, quantitative changes take place in derivational suffixation: adjacent vowels with the same quality merge into one when two vowels come from different morphemes (i.e. the final segment of the stem and the initial segment of the suffix), and moras are deleted if otherwise the number of syllables in a word would increase. To account for the morphological extrametricality, a pair of output-output faithfulness constraints are used: a higher ranked OO-IDENT(stress)INF with an index referring to inflectional suffixes and clitics, and a lower ranked clone OO-IDENT(stress) without an index. The constraint ranking OO-IDENT(stress)INF >> ALL-FT-R >> OO-IDENT(stress) generates inflectional words with stress on the same syllable as in their stems, while derivational words follow general footing principles. As for the positional extrametricality, an anti-alignment constraint *ALIGN-L(Root, FT) is proposed, which concerns positions of feet only with respect to the root, rather than the stem that may be polymorphemic. The constraint ranking OO-IDENT(stress)INF, DEP-μ >> *ALIGN-L(Root, FT) >> *STRUC-σ confines the emergence of non-initiality in derivational words with roots not smaller than two moras.
Ahn, Byron (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
It is unexpected under previous accounts that, in a subclass of sentences that contain reflexive anaphors, focus on a reflexive anaphor can be felicitously interpreted as a response to a subject-question (e.g. "Johnny burned HIMSELF" as a response to "Who burned Johnny?"). This focus phenomenon can only be accounted for under existing theories of focus and syntax-prosody mapping if the syntactic representation of reflexivity is amended, as is pursued in this paper. A revised model of reflexivity such as the one presented in this paper is not only able to account for this focus data, but is generally more empirically robust: able to better account for the distribution of phrasal stress in clauses with reflexive anaphors, as well as the realization of reflexivity of other languages.
LaCara, Nicholas (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
Predicate which-appositives (PWAs) are a class of nonrestrictive, parenthetical relative clauses that take as their antecedents predicate-denoting material in the spine of a clause. PWAs contain a gap, and it is difficult to tell whether this gap is derived by a deletion operation like verb phrase ellipsis or by wh-movement. Indeed, diagnostics meant to distinguish these two possibilities provide evidence that both are correct. In order to remedy the apparent conundrum, I draw on recent work on Danish verbal anaphora. I argue that the VP itself undergoes A'-movement and that the relative operator which is inserted post-syntactically in place of the VP, replacing its phonological material. This post-syntactic operation explains why there appears to be phonological deletion involved in the derivation of PWAs while still allowing the A'-movement properties of the construction to be explained.
Bjorkman, Bronwyn (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
This paper presents a formalization of view that auxiliary verbs such as be are in some sense default verbs. On the basis of languages in which auxiliaries arise only in certain combinations of inflectional categories (Latin, Kinande), it is argued that auxiliary be is not present in the syntax, but is instead a morphological strategy for realizing “stranded” inflectional features. A model of verbal inflection that implements this approach to auxiliaries is developed, providing a unified analysis of the auxiliary pattern found in languages of the Latin/Kinande type with the more familiar pattern of languages such as English.
van Urk, Coppe (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
This paper presents an empirical argument for the claim that implicit subjects of passives are syntactically projected. It is shown that obligatory control by implicit subjects in the passive is subject to a syntactic restriction. Specifically, across languages, promotion of a DP to spec-TP blocks control by the implicit subject of a passive. This is what lies behind the old observation that subject control is incompatible with passivization in English, or Visser's Generalization (VG) (e.g. Jenkins 1972; Bresnan 1982). This generalization is a natural consequence of the logic of an agreement-based theory of control (Borer 1989; Landau 2000 et seq.), if it is assumed that control by implicit subjects is established syntactically.
Lim, Dongsik (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle (Tucson, Arizona), 2012)
Korean evidential marker -te- introduces difference presuppositions depending on the presence or absence of tense markers. When there is no overt tense, it may introduce the presupposition that the speaker’s assertion is based on her direct perceptive evidence when it is used without any overt tense (direct evidential presupposition). However, when used with other tense markers, it introduces the presupposition that the speaker’s assertion is based on inference from her direct perception of some eventuality (inferential evidential presupposition). Furthermore, without any tense marker, the proposition embedded under the scope of -te- may refer to the eventuality which occurred before the utterance time. To solve this puzzle, I propose that -te- always introduce the inferential evidential presupposition, and the direct evidential presupposition is a special instance of the inferential evidential presupposition based on tautological reasoning. I also propose that -te- introduces a salient time interval t before the utterance time, and explain the past reading triggered by -te- with the absence of tense markers by making the additional assumption that when there is no overt tense is used a covert anaphoric tense is inserted instead.
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