Proceedings of the 34th Annual Penn Linguistics Colloquium

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 26
  • Publication
    On Strategies of Question-Formation and the Grammatical Status of the Q-particle huwwa in Egyptian Arabic Wh-Questions
    (2011-01-01) Soltan, Usama; Soltan, Usama
    This paper addresses two salient properties of wh-interrogatives in EA: First, the utilization of the in-situ and ex-situ strategies to form wh-questions, and second, the optional occurrence of the (Q)uestion-particle huwwa in the initial position of such structures. In the first half of the paper, I argue that scope in wh-questions in EA is licensed via unselective binding by an interrogative operator, which may either bind a wh-phrase in the lexical domain, thereby giving rise to an in-situ wh-question, or a wh-phrase in SpecFocP, thereby giving rise to an ex-situ wh-question. In the second half of the paper, I turn to the discussion of the grammatical status of the Q-particle huwwa, arguing, on the basis of theoretical and empirical evidence, against both Wahba’s (1984) claim that huwwa is obligatorily needed to define the scope of in-situ wh-phrases, as well as Eid’s (1992) analysis of huwwa as derived from an underlying pronominal copula. Instead, I argue that huwwa is a clause-typing Q-morpheme that occupies a head position in an articulated left-periphery of the clause, has f-features, and induces (a degree of) presupposition. Diagnostics such as felicity of negative answers and suspension of the associated proposition underlying a question suggest that different degrees of presupposition underlie different types of wh-questions in EA, hence lending support to a fine-grained approach to the interpretation of questions, as has been argued recently in Romero and Han 2004, Tomioka 2009, and Eilam and Lai 2009.
  • Publication
    Changzhi Suffix Tonal Reduplication
    (2011-01-01) Chen, Tsung-Ying; Chen, Tsung-Ying
    In this paper, a floating tonal reduplicant suffix is proposed to re-analyze Changzhi Chinese suffix tone sandhi (Hou 1983), which has been presented as major evidence for Contour Tone Units (CTU). All stem contour tones in Changzhi, except one stem level tone, overwrite the underlying tone (HMH) of the adjectival and diminutive suffixes. In Yip (1980, 1989), this process was analyzed as spreading contour tones as units. The stem level tone was assumed to be assigned by a Default Tone Rule ordered after the tonal spreading rule. However, this CTU-based analysis has a problem of ordering paradox that derives incorrect outputs of the general disyllabic patterns. Combining with the primary concept of ‘tonal copying’ process proposed by Duanmu (1990, 1994), the framework of Base-Reduplicant Correspondence (McCarthy and Prince 1994, 1995) of Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky 1993/2004) has a more plausible explanation to Changzhi suffix tone sandhi. The OT analysis suggests that a floating tonal reduplicant T-RED accompanies the suffixes in Changzhi. The correspondence between the stem tonemes and T-RED is faithful, and the latter docks onto the suffixes whose underlying tonemes are then overwritten by this process. The stem level tone is not an exception; it undergoes the same reduplication process, but covertly, with the unchanged surface tonal sequence.
  • Publication
    Scrambling Verb-Final Languages and the Underlying Order of Objects in Ditransitive Constructions
    (2011-01-01) Georgala, Effi; Georgala, Effi
    In this paper I provide evidence from depictive stranding to show that German and Turkish, scrambling verb-final languages which have been assumed to be an exception to the crosslinguistic generalization of IO>DO base order in double object constructions, in fact support the generalization. Following Georgala's et al. (2008) analysis of applicative constructions, which predicts that indirect objects (IOs) originate higher than direct objects (DOs), I argue that German and Turkish have two types of applied arguments (thematic and raising) with different underlying but the same surface position, namely [Spec, ApplP]. By showing that IO>DO is the base order of Turkish double object constructions, I also contribute to the discussion of the nature of scrambling in Turkish. In particular I corroborate Öztürk's (2005) view that scrambling in Turkish can be treated as either A-bar or A-movement.
  • Publication
    On the Semantics of Modal Adjectives
    (2011-01-01) DeLazero, Octav Eugen; DeLazero, Octav Eugen
    I examine the semantics of modal adjectives based on their selectional properties, arguing that they only combine with nouns describing situations or participants in situations (entities in context), and I propose a formal treatment. I attempt an extension of this analysis to temporal adjectives, thereby outlining a unitary treatment of non-subsective adjectives. The analysis involves the assumption, for nouns, of denotations and semantic types consistent with what they describe, and a revision of the denotations of intensional operators when used with nouns describing or involving situations.
  • Publication
    Incomplete Neutralization in American English Flapping: A Production Study
    (2011-01-01) Braver, Aaron; Braver, Aaron
    This paper presents a production study of incomplete neutralization in American English flapping. In flapping, /d/ and /t/ both become a voiced flap in certain prosodic contexts (see, e.g., Kahn 1980). A number of studies show that this neutralization is incomplete: /d/-flaps can be distinguished from /t/-flaps on the surface (Fox and Terbeek 1977). Other studies, however, have found conflicting results (Port 1976). This study finds that flapping is an incompletely neutralizing process—/d/-flaps and /t/-flaps can be distinguished on the surface by the duration of the preceding vowel, at least for some speakers. Additionally, some studies find evidence that hyperarticulation and orthography have an effect on whether neutralization is complete or incomplete (Fourakis and Iverson 1984, Warner et al. 2006). The present study employed two tasks: a minimal pair reading task, designed to increase these potential effects, and a morphological paradigm completion/"wug" task, designed to reduce these effects. No significant differences between the two tasks were found, thus failing to support the claim that incomplete neutralization is due to these extragrammatical factors.
  • Publication
    Case Mis-matching as Kase Stranding
    (2011-01-01) Daskalaki, Evangelia; Daskalaki, Evangelia
    Depending on whether and how argumental Free Relatives (FRs) resolve instances of case conflict between the requirements of the External (i.e., the matrix) and the Internal (i.e., the relative) Predicate, they can be classified into three main categories: (i) Strictly Matching FRs (e.g., Polish), where the FR pronoun has to comply in morphological case with both predicates (Citko 2000), (ii) I(nternal)-Matching FRs (e.g. German), where the FR pronoun has to comply in morphological case with the Internal Predicate, but not necessarily with the External one (Grosu 1994), and (iii) E(xternal)-Matching FR (e.g., Greek), where the FR pronoun has to comply in morphological case with the External Predicate, but not necessarily with the Internal one ((Stavrou & Philippaki 1987; Horrocks & Stavrou 1987; Chila-Markopoulou 1991; Philippaki & Spyropoulos 1997; Alexiadou & Varlokosta 2007; Vogel 2001; Agouraki 2005; Daskalaki 2008; Spyropoulos 2007). In this paper, I use the Greek pattern as my starting point, and I develop a formal account of the observed cross-linguistic variation, which builds on the KP hypothesis (Lamontagne & Travis 1987).
  • Publication
    Structure-Sensitivity in Actuality: Notes from a Class of Preference Expressions
    (2011-01-01) Gergel, Remus; Gergel, Remus
    The paper deals with the development of certain preference expressions (in particular 'rather') against the background of language change. Following results from narrow syntax, a diachronic reanalysis at the level of Logical Form is proposed. Synchronically, certain actuality entailments (Bhatt 1999/2006) are observed and a structural analysis capitalizing on Hacquard (2009) is proposed.
  • Publication
    Social Meaning in Prosodic Variability
    (2011-01-01) Callier, Patrick; Callier, Patrick
    An analysis of six characters from a Chinese television drama reveals socially meaningful patterns of variation in rhythm and final lengthening. Two measures of rhythm, the syllabic PVI and Varco∆S, reveal the three female characters to be more “stress-timed” than the three male characters; smoothing splines analysis, meanwhile, shows that the women do more lengthening of utterance-final syllables than the men. Interspeaker differences in rhythm among the men suggest that the social meaning of rhythmic variability may be linked to a cultural binary between “martial” and “refined” masculinities. This study opens up new avenues in the sociolinguistic study of rhythm and prosody, which has not seen widely reported gender differences in rhythm; as well it is the first study of final lengthening as a sociolinguistic variable in its own right.
  • Publication
    Spellout and Double Determination in Mainland Scandinavian
    (2011-01-01) Simonenko, Alexandra; Simonenko, Alexandra
    This study considers a contrast in Mainland Scandinavian with respect to co-occurrence of a suffixal and a free-standing determiner ("double determination'') in parallel to a series of contrasts in how the suffixal determiner is realized phonologically. On the basis of the phonological evidence I propose that in Norwegian and Swedish the suffixal determiner does not belong to the same phonological domain with the root with respect to several phonological processes, in contrast to Danish. Consequently, I argue that only in the former two languages the suffixal determiner should be considered a spellout trigger and thus a phase-head. Independently of this, I propose that in all Mainland Scandinavian the head hosting the suffixal determiner has a feature [Affix], proposed by Roberts (2005), that triggers a head-movement, whereas the head hosting the free-standing determiner does not have this feature. This state of affairs offers itself as an ideal testing ground for the hypothesis that there are general grammar constraints on the distribution of movement driving features, in particular of an EPP-like feature [Affix]. I propose that [Affix] specification should be consistent within a phase, which represents an amendment to the EPP downward inheritance generalization of Biberauer et al. (2008). The absence of "double determination'' in Danish is then argued to follow from the non-phase head status of the head hosting the suffixal determiner in Danish, as this bleeds the environment for an [Affix] specification "switch''.
  • Publication
    Asymmetries in Conjunct Agreement
    (2011-01-01) Bhatt, Rajesh; Walkow, Martin; Bhatt, Rajesh; Walkow, Martin
    Hindi-Urdu displays an asymmetry with respect to the availability of Closest Conjunct Agreement. It is available only to objects and not to subjects. Agreement with subjects is always agreement with the full conjunct. We argue that this asymmetry in Conjunct Agreement is related to another asymmetry between subject and object agreement in Indo-Aryan languages: object agreement never involves person. We derive these properties of object agreement from the fact that object agreement is an instance of dissociated agreement, agreement that takes place independent of case-licensing. As a result when the probe (T) accesses the direct object goal, the person features of the goal have already been deactivated by the case-licenser (v) and T must look inside the DP at the phi-P, where only gender and number features are available. This yields the absence of person features in object agreement. With subjects, T is both the case-licensor and phi-agreement trigger. Hence the person features of the subject are visible to T. By a similar logic, the features of conjoined objects are not visible to the probe and a subpart must be identified whose features are visible. The identification of the subpart is subject to linearity considerations and we present a mechanism that allows for this. The resulting proposal sheds light on the distribution of features within the DP and the proper analysis of dissociated agreement. It is also a first step towards an integration of linearization and structural considerations in the treatment of agreement.