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Abstract

This paper addresses the issue of the relationship holding between abstract and morphological case by examining differential case marking in Asia Minor Greek. Asia Minor Greek dialects have nominative-accusative case systems with overt case exponents; significantly, in these dialects definiteness affects the case marking of the argument either by forcing it to appear in a default case or by marking the relevant definiteness specification by means of a certain (morphologically overt) case. I argue that these phenomena do not derive from functional factors, such as the typicality of subject/object, distinctiveness or iconicity, and I present evidence that the relevant abstract Case is always licensed on DParguments in these dialects, even in differential case marking situations, and that the surface morphological case is conditioned by morphological factors. Based on this evidence, I claim that differential case marking in such systems is morphological in nature and derives from postsyntactic impoverishment rules at Morphological Structure that affect the feature constitution of the case terminal node resulting in its differentiating exponence and the non-isomorphism between abstract and morphological case.

New Perspectives on Differential Argument Marking
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Abstract

Only few grammatical theories can faithfully incorporate cumulative effects. In Optimality Theory, two different means have been suggested to account for cumulativity of constraint interaction, viz., local constraint conjunction and Harmonic Grammar. The present paper considers cumulative effects in morphology (with differential argument encoding) and syntax (with long-distance extraction) and shows that existing analyses in terms of local constraint conjunction cannot be transferred to Harmonic Grammar analyses. Whereas cumulative constraint interaction can be selectively switched off in local conjunction analyses, this is impossible for principled reasons in Harmonic Grammar analyses. Consequently, even though Harmonic Grammar is explicitly designed to capture cumulative effects, it turns out that this approach is systematically unable to derive a certain kind of cumulativity because it cannot prevent unwanted concurrent cumulative interaction.

Abstract

We aim at showing that the superficial identity of DOM internal arguments and of goal dative involves no accidental homophony or syncretism, but rather an underlying identical structure of embedding. Specifically, we conclude that DOM arguments are syntactically oblique (Section 2). We introduce the matter by detailing referential/animacy splits in Italo-Romance microvariation (Section 1.1). We show that in Italian varieties goal arguments can be introduced by prepositions different from a; the same oblique morphology is then associated with animate/definite (DOM) objects (Section 1.2). In Section 5, the existence of both leísta varieties (Ibero-Romance) and loísta varieties (in Italo- and Ibero- Romance) in clitic doubling provide further evidence in favour of a common treatment for goal and DOM datives.

Abstract

Current formal studies of Case center on one or both of two main approaches: Case assignment via Agree or dependent case, whereby the case features of a given NP/DP are valued in a particular structural configuration within a particular local domain, unless another NP/DP is assigned Case first (Marantz 1991, Baker & Vinokurova 2010). Some have suggested a mixed approach: Case licensing via Agree for subjects, but via dependent case for direct objects (DOs), for example Baker & Vinokurova (2010). This paper proposes a novel conciliatory approach to Case. In all instances of structural Case, i.e. for subjects as well as direct objects, Agree with a functional head is necessary. This addresses the conceptual issue of one unique type of licensing mechanism, rather than two. However, the functional licenser of the Case on DOs has to be itself licensed in this capacity. This is possible only when the subject has first been licensed via Agree. This results in the appearance of dependent case, which is an indirect symptom of dependent Agree. This approach is then extended to structural datives.

Abstract

In this paper, we focus on three cases in Estonian (nominative, partitive, genitive) that are used to mark core arguments (subject, object, possessor). We address fundamental questions about the concept of case, including whether abstract case should be related to morphologically overt case. We strive to bring together formal analyses of case with experimental data on the interpretation of case-marked nouns. The chapter reports on a sentence-completion experiment on Estonian speakers’ interpretations of nouns presented in the three different cases, each of which is syntactically ambiguous and provides under-determined cues about the grammatical role of the noun. Our data suggest that grammatical case interpretation is not based purely on structure. Instead, we find that morphological case constrains the distribution of a nominal to specific syntactic functions, and the actual function of each case-marked noun is determined in interaction with other factors. Indeed, the more (syntactically) underspecified a case-marker is, the more other cues (in our study, animacy, number, and linear position) interact with it.

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Abstract

Our introduction to this volume provides an empirical overview of the phenomenon of DOM, Section 1, a theoretical overview of approaches to modeling and understanding DOM, Section 2, a deeper look at some of the challenges that the data pose for a unified approach to DOM, Section 3, and finally, a preview of the contributions to this volume, Section 4.