Please join us this Friday, February 24th at 1PM in Rosenwald 208 for a joint meeting of LVC and the Morphology & Syntax workshops. Our speaker will be Adam Singerman.
“Finite embedding and quotation in Tuparí”
Adam Roth Singerman
University of Chicago
Tuparí (Tupían; Brazil) has innovated a finite embedding construction that bears the structural hallmarks of an internal headed relative clause. What makes this construction typologically unusual is that it instantiates an apparent violation of the Final-over-Final Condition (a proposed universal discussed at length in recent work by Biberauer, Holmberg, Roberts, and Sheehan): the Tuparí configuration shows a left-branching syntactic projection dominating a right-branching one.
This talk will present the main descriptive and analytic generalizations concerning finite embedded clauses in Tuparí and will examine the implications for current theories of syntactic disharmony: Biberauer et al’s FOFC and Hawkins’s Performance-Grammar Correspondence Hypothesis. In particular, I will show that the Tuparí facts are more problematic for the PGCH than for FOFC (even if FOFC’s appeal to innate constraints in UG is not fully satisfactory as an explanatory mechanism).
The talk concludes with an examination of the origins of finite embedded clauses in Tuparí. While such clauses transparently involve the grammaticization of a demonstrative third person pronoun as a clausal subordinator, there is evidence that the backwards syntactic dependencies visible in direct quotation have also played a role.
Monday, May 6th @ 3 PM, Wieboldt 408
An Overview of Nguni Verbal Reduplication with Special Reference to Ndebele
Previous works on verbal reduplication in Nguni (isiNdebele, siSwati, isiXhosa and isiZulu) such as Downing (1996, 1997a) and Sibanda (2004) have not paid much attention to possible verbal morphology inaccuracies but have been concerned mainly with theoretical aspects of reduplication from a phonological, morpho-phonological or morpho-syntactic perspective. The assumption has been that the morphological analyses in, for example, Doke (1931 (and later editions)) and Ziervogel (1952) are correct. In this presentation I begin by questioning the morphological analyses themselves taking into account results from diachronic studies, specifically Proto-Bantu reconstructions. I focus on verbs with vowel initial stems and those with sub-minimal -C- roots. For example, the reduplicated form of the stem -dla ‘eat’ has previously been assumed to have the morphological structure -dla-yi+dla but I argue, drawing from historical evidence, that this should be -dla+yidla. A morphological reanalysis of the data could potential pose problems for any theory. However, using mainly isiNdebele examples, I show that the Morphological Doubling Theory (Inkelas and Zoll 2005) which places less emphasis on Base-RED phonological identity still handles the Nguni data well in spite of the morphological changes suggested.
Monday, March 11th @ 12:30 PM, Social Sciences 302
The particular–characterizing contrast in Indo-Aryan copulas and the diachronic emergence of overt tense marking
Several Indo-Aryan languages are characterized by (at least) two distinct copular expressions in both the present and the past tenses (e.g. hai and hota hai in Hindi or ahe/asato in Marathi). The distribution of these copulas in non-verbal predicational clauses (e.g. John is hungry/intelligent/on Mars/a war veteran/a collie) is constrained by two factors: (a) whether the predicate is stage-level or individual-level; and (b) whether the argument is interpreted as individual-denoting or kind-denoting. I propose that the two-copula systems of Indo-Aryan allow for the morphosyntactic realization of the semantic contrast between particular and characterizing sentences (in the sense of Krifka et al 1995).
In this talk, I will investigate non-verbal predications in Late Middle Indo-Aryan (Apabhramsa) and Early New Indo-Aryan (Old Marathi and Old Gujarati) in order to understand the evolution of this morphosyntactically realized contrast in Indo-Aryan diachrony. Specifically, I explore the idea that although there is some evidence of a grammaticalized particular-characterizing contrast in the older systems (e.g. Epic Sanskrit and Early Prakrit), it is only firmly established concomitant with the emergence of overtly marked tense distinctions in the Proto New Indo-Aryan system.