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- ItemHARMONIC PHONOLOGY WITHIN ONE LANGUAGE: AN ANALYSIS OF YIDINY(1992) Kirchner, Robert; Inkelas, Sharon; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)This thesis attempts to implement and flesh out Prince and Smolensky's (1991) proposal for a declarative, multi-stratal model of phonology based on the quasi-connectionist notion of maximization of phonological "harmony" or well-formedness (henceforth "Harmonic Phonology"), applying this approach to a detailed analysis of the phonology of Yidiny, a language of North-Eastern Australia. In Harmonic Phonology, the phonological component of the grammar consists of a set of universal markedness principles (e.g. "prefer non-low back vowel to be rounded," or "prefer syllable to have onset"). Cross-linguistic variation is accounted for solely in terms of the ranking of such markedness statements: there are no language-specific rules or constraints. The thesis uses this framework to account for the structure of Yidiny's phoneme inventory, syllable template, and stress system, as well as a variety of alternations, including odd-syllable apocope and penultimate vowel lengthening, and demonstrates the superiority of such an analysis as compared to a rule-based account of the same phenomena.
- ItemON SERIAL VERB CONSTRUCTIONS(1992) Wu, Daoping; Hornstein, Norbert; Linguistics; University of Maryland (College Park, Md); Digital Repository at the University of MarylandThe term serial verb construction (SVC) refers to a construction in which more than one verb are not connected by any lexical device such as conjunction and punctuation, etc.. This construction is quite popular in Chinese, Caribbean creoles, West African languages, and Dravidian languages. Structurally, the SVCs may be compounds, clauses or phrases. The clausal SVCs have been attested in all the serialized languages. The compound SVcs are reported in Chinese and Edo. Only a few instances of phrasal SVCs have been found in Dravidian languages. The compound SVCs in Chinese can consist of two verbs or a verb plus an adjective. The productive compound can only have the following structures: V trans. +V intrans., V trans + A and V intrans. + A. Among the three compounds, the head of the compound must link to both the external and the internal arguments when it is transitive. The nonhead adjective can link to either the external argument or the internal argument, while the nonhead verb can only link to the internal argument, and in most cases, the intransitive verb must be unaccusative. Feature Percolation Convention and the Case requirements generate all the grammatical compound SVCs and rule out all the ungrammatical ones. These rules also can well account for the differences between the VV compound and the VA compound. This conforms to what the Feature Percolation Convention and the Case requirement predict. It is suggested that the syntactic SVCs under discussion are clausal because of facts concerning their binding properties. This analysis is first proposed by Bickerton & Iatridou(1989) in their study of the Caribbean creoles. With this analysis, if the first verb in an SVC is in the matrix clause, the second verb is in an adjunct clause attached to the V' position of the matrix clause. This analysis obtains support from Chinese. In this respect, the only difference between Chinese and the Caribbean creoles is that the adjunct clause has two adjoining positions. Furthermore it is proposed in this thesis that the adjunct clause is a CP rather than an IP.
- ItemThematic Relations Between Nouns(2001) Castillo, Juan Carlos; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)This dissertation explores some of the traditionally labeled possessive relations, and proposes a basic syntactic structure that underlies them. The two nouns act as subject and predicate in a small clause, dominated by two functional projections, where reference/agreement and contextual restrictions are checked. Looking first at container-content relations, we propose that the container is always a predicate for the content. Because in our system selection is determined in the small clause and agreement is checked in an AgrP, selection and agreement need not be determined by the same noun. Selection also distinguishes between a container and a content reading. The evidence from extraction shows that container readings are more complex than content readings. We propose that the container reading adds a higher small clause whose predicate is the feature number. Number is thus a predicate, which type-lifts mass terms to count nouns, the way classifiers do in languages without number. Evidence from Spanish and Asturian shows a three-way distinction between absence of number (mass terms), singular and plural. We also propose that nouns are not divided into rigid classes, such as mass/count. Rather, any noun may be used as mass or count, depending on whether number is added to its syntactic derivation or not. An analysis of possessor raising to both nominative and dative in Spanish also supports the idea that nouns are not divided into rigid classes with respect to their ability to enter possessive relations. Relations such as part/whole, alienable and inalienable possessions, are all analyzed as small clauses where the possessor is the subject and the possessed is the predicate. Finally, we propose a universal principle: possessor raising can occur in languages that have a structural Case in a v-projection, in addition to the Case checked by the direct object. This predicts that causative verbs in languages with possessor raising should also allow the Case checking of both the object and the subject of an embedded transitive clause. The prediction is borne out, giving rise to four types of languages, according to their Case system.
- ItemWORD SENSE DISAMBIGUATION WITHIN A MULTILINGUAL FRAMEWORK(2003) Diab, Mona Talat; Resnik, Philip; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD) is the process of resolving the meaning of a word unambiguously in a given natural language context. Within the scope of this thesis, it is the process of marking text with explicit sense labels. What constitutes a sense is a subject of great debate. An appealing perspective, aims to define senses in terms of their multilingual correspondences, an idea explored by several researchers, Dyvik (1998), Ide (1999), Resnik & Yarowsky (1999), and Chugur, Gonzalo & Verdejo (2002) but to date it has not been given any practical demonstration. This thesis is an empirical validation of these ideas of characterizing word meaning using cross-linguistic correspondences. The idea is that word meaning or word sense is quantifiable as much as it is uniquely translated in some language or set of languages. Consequently, we address the problem of WSD from a multilingual perspective; we expand the notion of context to encompass multilingual evidence. We devise a new approach to resolve word sense ambiguity in natural language, using a source of information that was never exploited on a large scale for WSD before. The core of the work presented builds on exploiting word correspondences across languages for sense distinction. In essence, it is a practical and functional implementation of a basic idea common to research interest in defining word meanings in cross-linguistic terms. We devise an algorithm, SALAAM for Sense Assignment Leveraging Alignment And Multilinguality, that empirically investigates the feasibility and the validity of utilizing translations for WSD. SALAAM is an unsupervised approach for word sense tagging of large amounts of text given a parallel corpus — texts in translation — and a sense inventory for one of the languages in the corpus. Using SALAAM, we obtain large amounts of sense annotated data in both languages of the parallel corpus, simultaneously. The quality of the tagging is rigorously evaluated for both languages of the corpora. The automatic unsupervised tagged data produced by SALAAM is further utilized to bootstrap a supervised learning WSD system, in essence, combining supervised and unsupervised approaches in an intelligent way to alleviate the resources acquisition bottleneck for supervised methods. Essentially, SALAAM is extended as an unsupervised approach for WSD within a learning framework; in many of the cases of the words disambiguated, SALAAM coupled with the machine learning system rivals the performance of a canonical supervised WSD system that relies on human tagged data for training. Realizing the fundamental role of similarity for SALAAM, we investigate different dimensions of semantic similarity as it applies to verbs since they are relatively more complex than nouns, which are the focus of the previous evaluations. We design a human judgment experiment to obtain human ratings on verbs’ semantic similarity. The obtained human ratings are cast as a reference point for comparing different automated similarity measures that crucially rely on various sources of information. Finally, a cognitively salient model integrating human judgments in SALAAM is proposed as a means of improving its performance on sense disambiguation for verbs in particular and other word types in general.
- ItemQuantification and Second-Order Monadicity(Blackwell, 2003) Pietroski, PaulThe first part of this paper reviews some developments regarding the apparent mismatch between the logical and grammatical forms of quantificational constructions like 'Pat kicked every bottle'. I suggest that (even given quantifier-raising) many current theories still posit an undesirable mismatch. But all is well if we can treat determiners (words like 'every', 'no', and 'most') as second-order monadic predicates without treating them as predicates satisfied by ordered pairs of sets. Drawing on George Boolos's construal of second-order quantification as plural quantification, I argue that we can and should view determiners as predicates satisfied (plurally) by ordered pairs each of which associates an entity with a truth-value (t or f). The idea is 'every' is satisfied by some pairs iff every one of them associates its entity with t. It turns out that this provides a kind of explanation for the "conservativity" of determiners. And it lets us say that concatenation signifies predicate-conjunction even in phrases like 'every bottle' and 'no brown dog'.
- ItemThematically Driven Movement in Japanese: A Study of Psych Verb Constructions(2004-04-30) Motomura, Mitsue; Hornstein, Norbert; LinguisticsThe general aim of this thesis is to provide support for the claim that movement can be driven by theta-features, advanced by Bokovič (1994), Hornstein (1999, 2001), Manzini and Russo (2000), and O'Neil (1997) among others, through a study of Japanese Psych Verb constructions that exhibit interesting peculiarities. In some psych verb constructions, theta-roles are projected in an order that diverges from the canonical order found in other dyadic constructions. The theme role of Object Experiencer (OE) verbs is realized in the subject position of the sentence, while the experiencer role is linked to the object position. On the other hand, Subject Experiencer (SE) verbs map the theme role to the object position while the experiencer role is realized in the subject position. Given that in general experiencers are mapped to the subject/external argument position, OE verb constructions raise some critical issues for the Principles and Parameters theory (Chomsky, 1981), in particular for the theories of argument structure. The first goal of the thesis is to provide a solution to this linking puzzle as well as other peculiarities of OE verbs in Minimalist terms. In particular, I claim that the subject of an OE verb sentence is derived by thematically driven movement. By allowing such movement, the inverse linking pattern, backward binding phenomenon, and scope patterns of OE verbs can be accounted for straightforwardly. The second goal is to investigate the structures of SE verbs and OE verbs and how they are related one another. I propose that an OE verb is a mono-clausal causative, composed of an SE verb base and a causative morpheme -sase, and that SE verbs are bare VPs without vP projection. This amounts to saying that SE verbs do not project the external argument. It is shown that SE verbs do not allow passivization, supporting the claim that SE verbs do not project the external argument.
- ItemOn Subordination and the Distribution of PRO(2004-04-30) San Martin, Itziar; Uriagereka, Juan; LinguisticsThis dissertation presents a Minimalist Theory of Control. As for the distribution of PRO, it provides evidence that PRO appears in a configuration of regular Structural Case assignment. This suggests that the complementary distribution between PRO and lexical subjects is not related to Case. It also provides empirical evidence against the Movement analysis of Control, which subsumes Control under Raising, and is compatible with the theoretical view that Theta Roles are configurational, rather than Features. It also renders the so-called Null Case unnecessary. The interpretation of PRO is the result of the need of the Chain of PRO to collapse with the Chain of the antecedent in order to survive at LF. Specifically, PRO is a featureless element and it is not in the Numeration. However, the system resorts to the off-line insertion of PRO to the Derivation to satisfy Theta Theory. This is a Last Resort operation that only takes place when there is no other DP in the Numeration to satisfy the existing Theta Roles. Although it appears in a local relation to a Case assigning Probe [+T], the defective nature of PRO makes it unable to host a Case Value. By FI, the Chain of PRO collapses, in the sense of Martin (1996), with a local Chain. This derives the Control effect. The complementary distribution of NP-trace, PRO and lexical subjects correlates with the degree of defectiveness in the feature composition of T's in each instance. Raising T is Defective ([-T, -person]), Control T is Partial ([+T, -person]) and T in lexical subject licensing is Complete ([+T, +person]). Minimally, [+T] assigns Case to subjects (PRO/lexical). Complete Probes license lexical subjects, where [person] relates to the presence of C. The explanation of why lexical subjects and PRO are in complementary distribution is the following: by Minimality, Partial-T prevents the definition of a Binding Domain. Unlike PRO, lexical subjects need a Domain, and Partial-T does not provide one. Complete-T excludes PRO because Complete-T involves a CP Phase. In this context PRO lacks an antecedent with which to collapse and the Chain of PRO violates FI at LF.
- ItemSyntactic Identity and Locality Restrictions on Verbal Ellipsis(2004-05-03) Murguia, Elixabete; Uriagereka, Juan; Weinberg, Amy; LinguisticsThis dissertation investigates the topic of verbal ellipsis in English. Two main issues are addressed in this work: (i) the identity condition that restricts the application of ellipsis and (ii) the different locality restrictions that apply to elliptical constructions. The identity condition is examined from the point of view of competence, while the locality condition is given a natural answer from the processing domain. Furthermore, a parsing algorithm based on minimalist grammars is defined. Chapter 1 introduces the topic. Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 deal with the syntactic identity condition. Chapter 2 reviews some proposals in the literature, namely, Lasnik (1995b), Kitagawa (1991) and Fiengo and May (1994). All these analyses examine controversial examples where, apparently, partial syntactic identity between antecedent and gap is found. Chapter 3 presents a new analysis which assumes late lexical insertion, in the spirit of derivational morphology (Marantz 1993), and offers a unified account of all the cases of partial identity introduced in the previous chapter. It is argued that syntactic identity must be respected, and that the crucial notion for ellipsis is identity of syntactic categoriesa condition that is met before lexical items are inserted. Also, the different readings that obtain under ellipsis (i.e., sloppy and strict readings) are explained as emerging at different points in the derivation: before and after lexical insertion, respectively. Chapter 4 reviews one proposal in the parsing literature (Lappin and McCord 1990) as well as the problems it faces. Chapter 5 offers a processing account of the locality restrictions on gapping (as opposed to VPE and Pseudogapping)), those are analyzed as a result of (i) tense absence/presence (Fodor 1985), (ii) low initial attachment of coordinates, and (iii) Spell-out operations which render syntactic structure unavailable (Uriagereka 1999). A two-fold ellipsis resolution process is presented herewhere some work is done on-line, but some at the LF level. Chapter 6 defines an algorithm based on minimalist grammar operations, precisely on the preference of Merge-over-Move-over-Spell-out (as defined by Weinberg 1999); thus, showing that minimalist grammar models can be translated into computational models. Chapter 7 presents the conclusions.
- ItemDerivation and Representation of Syntactic Amalgams(2004-08-06) Guimaraes Miranda, Maximiliano; Uriagereka, Juan; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation consists of an investigation of Syntactic Amalgamation (cf. Lakoff 1974): the phenomenon of combination of sentences that yields parenthetic-like constructions like (01). (01) John invited God only knows how many people to you can imagine what kind of a party. The theoretical framework adopted is the Generative-Transformational Grammar (Chomsky 1957, 1965, 1975, 1981, 1986b, 2000b), following (and elaborating on) the recent developments known as the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995, 2000a, 2001a, 2001b; Martin & Uriagereka 2000; Uriagereka 1998, 1999, 2002). As far as the representation of syntactic amalgams is concerned, the main claim made in this dissertation is that such constructions involve a radical form of shared constituency, where two or more matrix sentences share the same subordinate sentence, in a multiply-rooted phrase marker. As far as the derivation of syntactic amalgams is concerned, the main claims made in this dissertation are: (i) context-free shared constituency arises from overlapping numerations; and (ii) the computational system builds structure incrementally, in a generalized tucking-in fashion, which yields a left-to-right/top-to-bottom effect on the derivation, such that constituency is heavily dynamic (along the lines of Phillips 1996, 2003; Drury 1998a, 1998b, 1999; Richards 1999, 2003). The conclusion is that this particular kind of paratactic-like construction is better understood as a purely syntactic phenomenon, where the resources of the computational system are pushed to the limit.
- ItemImpoverished Morphology and A-movement out of Case Domains(2004-08-12) Rodrigues , Cilene Aparecida Nunes; Hornstein , Norbert; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation suggests that referential 3rdP null subjects in Modern Brazilian Portuguese (BP) and Finnish are residues of A-movement, rather than null pronouns. These grammars exhibit weak 3rdP verbal and possessive agreement morphology, and do not obey the Avoid Pronoun Principle, allowing non-emphatic overt pronouns in subject position. This state of affairs has affected the licensing of referential null subjects, which are licensed only within embedded domains. I correlate the loss of agreement with this peculiar behavior of null subjects and advance the hypothesis that BP and Finnish are not pro-drop grammars, arguing on empirical grounds that in BP and Finnish null subject inside the embedded clauses and possessive DPs are residues of A-movement. Putting it boldly, these null subjects are salient copies of their antecedents. The arguments I present in favor of a movement analysis are: (i) Finnish and BP null subjects have an anaphoric behavior, requiring a sentential antecedent, which is the closest c-commanding DP. (ii) They cannot occur within relative clauses if the head of the relative clause intervenes between them and their antecedents. (iii) They display all the diagnostics used to characterize obligatory control as formed by movement; (iv) They do not occur inside paratactic constructions. (v) Inside coordinated DPs, they must occur in an across-the-board fashion. (vi) Floating quantifiers and participial forms within their c-command domains agree with their antecedents in f-features. Presupposing that in pro-drop languages pro is the verbal agreement morpheme (Agr) itself, I suggest in that in BP and Finnish Agr underwent f-degradation and was lexically reanalyzed as part of the verb. However, it is hypothesized that in these languages Agr retained a D-feature, and, consequently, it can satisfy the EPP feature of a Case-checking functional projection. As result, in these grammatical systems, a DP can undergo A-movement out of a Case-domain.
- ItemPutting Children in Context(2005-01-13) Meroni, Luisa; Crain, Stephen; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Studies of adult sentence processing have established that the referential context in which sentences are presented plays an immediate role in their interpretation, such that features of the referential context mitigate, and even eliminate, so-called 'garden-path' effects. The finding that the context ordinarily obviates garden path effects is compelling evidence for the Referential Theory, advanced originally by Crain and Steedman, (1985) and extended in Altmann and Steedman (1988). Recent work by Trueswell, Sekerina, Hill and Logrip (1999) suggests, however, that children may not be as sensitive as adults to contextual factors in resolving structural ambiguities. This conclusion is not anticipated by the Referential Theory and it also runs counter to the Continuity Assumption, which supposes that children and adults access the same cognitive mechanisms in processing language. The purpose of this work was to reexamine the observations that have led researchers to conclude that children, unlike adults, may lack sensitivity to features of the referential context in comprehension and ambiguity resolution. A series of experiments has been conducted to evaluate this conclusion. The findings show that the performance systems of children and adult differ minimally. Children are sensitive to the same features of the referential context as adults are, and they make use of the context to resolve structural ambiguities in sentence interpretation. In addition, the present study provides evidence in favor of children's pragmatic and semantic knowledge.
- ItemWhat do children have in their heads? Functional heads and parameter setting in child language(2005-04-19) Tesan, Graciela Mariel; Thornton, Rosalind; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)The aim of the present study is to revisit the old debate between rationalists and empiricists in relation to language development with new longitudinal data in hand. I show that when it comes to the development of a specific piece of linguistic knowledge, namely the distribution of the third person singular morpheme -s in child English, the generativist approach can satisfactorily account for the quirks observed in the longitudinal data presented herein. First, I argue that children are not conservative learners in the sense of Tomasello (2003), but they set parameters in the sense of Crain (1991). That is to say, child grammars may vary from the adult -significantly-, but the variation is conservatively limited by the hard-wired principles and parameters of Universal Grammar. I conclude that a parameter setting account of the development of functional categories is preferred as it attains explanatory adequacy with a minimal set of assumptions. I then adopt Lasnik's (1995a) parametric account of verbal morphology, which distinguishes two types of Infl(ectional) items: affixal Infl and featural Infl. Furthermore, I use the same distinction to account for the development of sentential Neg(ation), as well, arguing that there are two parametric values associated with the Neg(ation) category: affixal Neg and featural Neg. In natural languages, the intersection of these values defines different grammars (e.g. Swedish vs. English, Middle English vs. Modern English). Based on the Principles and Parameter theory, I show that at any given point in development, innately hard-wired UG principles and parameters can accurately define child grammars the same way they define any natural language. I argue that longitudinal evidence suggests that these parametric values are hard wired as those options are explored by four different English-speaking 2-year-old children. Thus, I conclude that language development is better understood as language change driven by parameter setting and re-setting.
- ItemAlternative Directions for Minimalist Inquiry: Expanding and Contracting Phases of Derivation(2005-04-28) Drury, John Edward; Uriagereka, Juan; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation develops novel derivational mechanics for characterizing the syntactic component of human language -- Tree Contraction Grammar (TCG). TCG falls within a general class of derivationally-oriented minimalist approaches, constituting a version of a Multiple Spell Out (MSO-)system (Chomsky 1999, Uriagereka 1999, 2002). TCG posits a derivational WORKSPACE restricting the size of structures that can be active at a given stage of derivation. As structures are expanded, workspace limitations periodically force contractions of the span of structure visible to operations. These expansion-contraction dynamics are shown to have implications for our understanding of locality of dependencies, specifically regarding successive cyclic movement. The mechanics of TCG rely on non-standard assumptions about the direction of derivation -- structure assembly is required to work top-down. TCG draws a key idea from TAG; that is, recursive structure ought to play a direct role in delimiting the range of possible interactions between syntactic elements in phases of derivation. TAG factors complex structures into non-recursive elementary trees and recursive auxiliary trees that are combinable via TAG's two operations (substitution/adjoining). In TCG the expansion of structure in the workspace is similarly limited to containing only non-recursive stretches of structure. In the course of a derivation, encountering "repeated elements" in the expanding dominance ordering forces contractions of the workspace (understood to happen in potentially different ways depending on the properties of repeated elements). In certain circumstances, repeated elements are identified, allowing information from earlier stages of derivation to be carried over to later stages, underwriting our (novel) view of successive cyclicity. Recursive structure is retained in the global "output" structure, upon parts of which we understand the workspace to be superimposed.
- ItemThe Acquisition and Processing of Backwards Anaphora(2005-08-02) Kazanina, Nina; Phillips, Colin; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation investigates long-distance backwards pronominal dependencies (backwards anaphora or cataphora) and constraints on such dependencies from the viewpoint of language development and real-time language processing. Based on the findings from a comprehension experiment with Russian-speaking children and on real-time sentence processing data from English and Russian adults I argue for a position that distinguishes structural and non-structural constraints on backwards anaphora. I show that unlike their non-syntactic counterparts, structural constraints on coreference, in particular Principle C of the Binding Theory (Chomsky 1981), are active at the earliest stage of language development and of real-time processing. In language acquisition, the results of a truth-value judgment task with 3-6 year old Russian-speaking children reveal a striking developmental asymmetry between Principle C, a cross-linguistically consistent syntactic constraint on coreference, and a Russian-specific discourse constraint on coreference. Whereas Principle C is respected by children already at the age of three, the Russian-specific (discourse) constraint is not operative in child language until the age of five. These findings present a challenge for input-driven accounts of language acquisition and are most naturally explained in theories that admit the existence of innately specified principles that underlie linguistic representations. In real-time processing, the findings from a series of self-paced reading experiments on English and Russian show that in backwards anaphora contexts the parser initiates an active search for an antecedent for the pronoun which is limited to positions that are not subject to structural constraints on coreference, e.g. Principle C. This grammatically constrained active search mechanism associated observed in the processing of backwards anaphora is similar to the mechanism found in the processing of another type of a long-distance dependency, the wh-dependency. I suggest that the early application of structural constraints on long-distance dependencies is due to reasons of parsing efficiency rather than due to their architectural priority, as such constraints aid to restrict the search space of possible representations to be built by the parser. A computational parsing algorithm is developed that combines the constrained active search mechanism with a strict incremental left-to-right structure building procedure.
- Item"Exceptional" Case-Marking and Resultative Constructions(2005-10-10) Hong, Soo-Min; Hornstein, Norbert; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)In this thesis, I present evidence that structural Case in Korean is not absolutely semantically inert. It can have a focus flavor in some contexts, for example, stacked Case and Case attached to an adverb/adverbial and a verb. This sort of Case feature may not be an embarrassment for the good design of language. I discuss the Resultative Construction in a derivational approach. We compare the Resultative Construction between English and Korean in pursuit of finding out the underlying cause for differences between the two languages.
- ItemMinimality and Turkish Relative Clauses(2005-12-08) Cagri, Ilhan Merih; Hornstein, Norbert; Pietroski, Paul; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Turkish relative clauses display a subject/non-subject asymmetry. The subject relative (SR) is licensed for relativization from [Spec, TP]. Whereas the non-subject relative (NSR) is never acceptable for subject relativization, the SR is licensed in clauses where there is no external argument, and when relativizing a non-subject in clauses where the subject is non-specific. Within the framework of the Minimalist Program, Turkish RCs are explained in terms of satisfaction of the EPP of T by a D feature and Minimality effects. As long as no nominal expression intervenes between the relative head and [Spec, TP], the SR is licensed. The SR, then, can be used as a diagnostic for movement through TP. Minimality effects are incurred when there is an intervening nominal between T° and the RC head, and the SR becomes unacceptable. The proposal is that in Turkish, specific nominals, +human nominals, and Experiencers of psych verbs all contain a DP projection. Non-specifics are NPs which cannot satisfy the EPP. NP subjects cannot move to [Spec, TP], and thus permit the SR form for relativization of non-subjects. NPs create intervention effects, as does PRO, with the exception of subject control PRO which is perhaps a trace of movement. Scrambling ameliorates intervention effects. Once scrambled, expressions are frozen but remain porous for movement of a subconstituent. Differences between inherent and structural Case are suggested with structural case assignment limited to DPs and in a Spec-Head configuration. Structurally case-marked DPs are barred from moving to case-assigning positions unless there is a morphological match. Further proposals include structures for verb classes, including Psych verbs, and structures for infinitivals and +human DPs. Contrastive focus is briefly addressed. Though superficially complex, relativization in Turkish can be accounted for with a minimum of technology. The suggestions here have implications for the theory of the EPP, Case, its assignment and interface conditions, feature satisfaction, and movement.
- ItemA Syntactic Structure of Lexical Verbs(2005-12-12) Mori, Nobue; Uriagereka, Juan; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)In this thesis, I propose a syntactic structure for verbs which directly encodes their event complexities. I present a model that is 'internalist' in the Chomskyan sense: Aktionsart properties of predicates are not a real-world affair, but the interpretation of a mind structure. For this purpose, I base my proposal on the Dimensional Theory of Uriagereka (2005, forthcoming). Syntactic constructs are in this view the results of operations that create increasingly complex objects, based on an algorithm that is homo-morphic with the structure of numerical categories. First, I propose that Aktionsart can be read off from structural complexities of syntactic objects and their associated 'theta-roles'. Specifically, I present the SAAC Hypothesis: Syntactic complexity in a verb is reflected in the number of syntactic arguments it takes. This approach, within the confines of the Dimensional Theory, results in an emergent 'thematic hierarchy': Causer > Agent > Locative > Goal > Theme. I test the accuracy of this hierarchy and concomitant assumptions through paradigms like the control of implicit arguments, selectional properties of verbs, extractions, aspect-sensitive adverbials, etc. Second, I argue that the verbal structure I propose is syntactically and semantically real, by extending the proposal in Lasnik (1999) on VP ellipsis from inflectional to derivational morphology. I discuss two contrasting methods of morphological amalgamation in English and Japanese, executed in Syntax and PF, respectively. This demonstrates a tight network of entailment patterns that holds of verbs, derived crucially from the architecture I argue for. Third, an analogous point is made through the structural positionings of causative and inchoative derivational morphemes in Japanese. There, each order of structural complexity has a profound impact on the class of eventualities a derivational morpheme can describe. 'Dimensional talks' are observed between certain derivational morphemes, which presumably find their roots in operations of the computational system within the Dimensional Theory. I show that the verbal structure in Japanese reflects directly an underlying bi-clausality that I argue for, in terms of derivational morphemes, further supporting a natural mapping between syntax and semantics. This is, in the end, an attempt for a 'Minimalist' theory of Aktionsart.
- ItemThe Landscape of Applicatives(2006-04-26) Jeong, Youngmi; Hornstein, Norbert; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)The present thesis is concerned with the syntax of constructions variously referred to as 'applicative', 'ditransitive', or 'multiple object' constructions: constructions that contain arguments that transcend the traditional subject-object characterization. The present thesis is also concerned with how the syntax of such constructions yields the interpretive effects that previous research has identified. In this thesis I try to remedy the inadequacies and limitations of previous accounts. As far as the syntax of applicatives is concerned, my analysis necessitates the rejection of phase-based derivation, and requires an emphasis on anti-locality, a rethinking of the phenomenon of successive cyclicity, and a renewed appreciation for the relevance of case and category in the context of multiple object constructions. The system I end up with is more relativized than previous accounts, as it makes use of more factors to capture the syntax of applicatives. In addition to providing a more adequate chracterization of the syntax of applicative constructions, I develop a semantic analysis of double-object/low applicative constructions. Specifically, I argue that such constructions involve object-sharing, captured via theta-driven movement, a derivational process that they share with serial verbs and resultative constructions. If correct, the present thesis offers empirical arguments for various theoretical options currently entertained in the minimalist program, among which movement into theta-position, multiple agree, anti-locality, and early successive cyclic movement (i.e., movement taking place before the final landing site is introduced into the structure).
- ItemEveryone Knows, Therefore Every Child Knows: An Investigation of Logico-semantic Competence in Child Language(2006-07-14) Minai, Utako; Lidz, Jeffrey L.; Pietroski, Paul M.; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation discusses children's understanding of semantic contribution of the universal quantifier every and its interactions with negation from a logico-semantic perspective. The universal quantifier every evokes an asymmetric entailment pattern in its first and second arguments (e.g., Ladusaw, 1979), which influences both sentential meanings and inferential relations among them. Whereas several studies have revealed children's sophisticated ability to compose the meanings of sentences containing every (e.g., Gualmini 2005), far less is known about whether children's knowledge about every can be extended to the level of meaning comparison, i.e., to the computation of the inferential relations among every-sentences. We thus investigate whether children are able to apply their knowledge about every to the calculation of the inference relations between every-sentences. In particular, this dissertation aims to experimentally examine children's ability to evaluate the inferences between every-sentences. We first report an experiment featuring the Truth Value Judgment Task (e.g., Crain and Thornton 1998), reconfirming children's adult-like ability to compose individual sentence meanings involving every. We then introduce two novel experimental methodologies, the Prediction-Rephrase Task and the Demand-Fulfillment Task, designed to assess children's ability to evaluate inferences between the entailing and entailed sentences. Three experiments utilizing these new tasks demonstrate that children's highly sophisticated knowledge about every is appropriately applied in comparing meaning relations involving every across-propositionally. Additionally, we present experiments that reveal children's adult-like knowledge regarding the semantic interaction between every and negation (e.g., Ludlow 2002) in both composing and comparing sentential meanings; these findings provide the evidence showing children's adult-like linguistic representations of the sentences, in which the structural relation between every and negation determines the patterns of inferences. Taken together, these studies demonstrate children's adult-like knowledge regarding the semantics of every that is applied both in the composition and comparison of sentential meanings, as well as their adult-like knowledge about the interaction between every and negation. In addition, our development of the two new experimental methodologies has made possible further steps toward the full understanding of semantic competence in child language, not only at the level of meaning composition but also at the level of meaning comparison.
- ItemPre-verbal Structure Building in Romance Languages and Basque(2006-08-04) Pablos, Leticia; Phillips, Colin; Uriagereka, Juan; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)The main goal of the work in this dissertation is to investigate pre-verbal structure building effects in languages with different configurations such as Spanish, Galician and Basque, by means of using different pre-verbal cues in order to show that syntactic structure can be both interpreted and anticipated before the verbal head. I examine the syntax of Clitic-Left Dislocations (CLLDs) and other kinds of left-dislocations in Spanish and then analyze their processing. I concentrate on the use of clitic pronouns in Spanish and Galician in CLLD constructions that require the presence of the clitic pronoun to interpret the left-dislocated phrase and where I examine if this left-dislocation is interpreted at the clitic pronoun. Experimental results from three self-paced reading experiments provide evidence that the clitic in these constructions is required and used to interpret the thematic features of the topicalized NP before the verb. Thus, I demonstrate that clitic pronouns are used as pre-verbal cues in parsing and that the active search mechanism is also triggered in long-distance dependencies involving clitic pronouns. I conclude that the active search mechanism is a more general architectural mechanism of the parser that is triggered in all kinds of long-distance dependencies, regardless of whether the search is triggered by gaps or pronouns. In Basque, verbal auxiliaries overtly encode agreement information that reflects the number of arguments of the verbal head. In negatives, auxiliaries are obligatorily fronted and split from the verbal head with which they otherwise form a cluster. Thus, verbal auxiliaries in Basque are a pre-verbal morphological cue that can assist the parser in predicting structure. Specifically, I examine how predictions for the upcoming structure of the sentence are determined by agreement information on the number of arguments specified in the auxiliary and by the mismatch of this auxiliary with the case features of the NP that follows it. I provide results from a self-paced reading experiment to argue that the parser uses the information encoded in the auxiliaries and demonstrate that the mismatch of the auxiliary with the following NP can prevent the reader from following a garden-path analysis of the sentence.