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Education & Language - Linguistics | The Linearization of Affixes: Evidence from Nuu-chah-nulth

The Linearization of Affixes: Evidence from Nuu-chah-nulth

Wojdak, Rachel

2008, X, 238 p.

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  • Develops the innovative argument that affixation constitutes a means of satisfying the universal requirement that linguistic expressions be linearized
  • Brings to light new empirical data that is central to current debates on the nature of head movement
  • Presents Nuu-chah-nulth affixation as proof-of-concept for the hypothesis that syntax is "spelled out" to phonology in strictly minimal syntactic domains
  • Develops a minimalist approach to the linearization of affixal predicates in Nuu-chah-nulth

The linearization of syntactic constructs stands at the forefront of current research on the syntax-phonology interface. This book examines the problem of linearization from a new perspective: that of the linearization of affixes. The driving proposal of this book is that affixation provides a means of satisfying the universal requirement that linguistic outputs be linearized. This hypothesis is tested against extensive original data from Nuu-chah-nulth ("Nootka"; Wakashan family), an endangered Amerindian language remarkable for its complex morphology. This volume introduces typologically rare affixation effects to current theoretical debates surrounding the division of labour between the modules of the grammar.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Affix - Derivation - Proposition - Syntax - Verb - adjective - adverbial - complements - grammar - infinitive - language - morphology - objects - subject - syntactic

Related subjects » Linguistics

Table of contents 

Chapter 1 Introduction. Introduction. Theoretical assumptions. Interface requirements. ‘Bottom-to-top’ syntactic derivation. Syntax ‘all the way down’. Linearization . Proposal: local spell-out. Alternative models for the timing of spell-out. Affixal predicates in Nuu-chah-nulth. Research context. Genetic affiliations. Previous literature. Overview of word structure in Nuu-chah-nulth. Methodology. Outline of the book.- Chapter 2 PF Incorporation. Introduction. Morpho-phonological dependency. Linearization is local. Iterativity. Modifier incorporation. Adjective incorporation. Adverbial incorporation. Coordinated objects. Insensitivity to syntactic category. Absence of LF effects. Discourse transparency. Absence of scopal effects. Opacity effects. Opaque DPs and the bare nominal requirement. Opaque CPs and ‘restructuring’ effects. Impermeability of saturated domains. Conclusion.- Chapter 3 Clausal architecture of Nuu-chah-nulth. Introduction. Linearization of syntactic terminals. A universal linearization scheme?. Directionality is determined at spell-out. Directionality conventions. Comparison to headedness ‘parameters’. Affixation patterns. Directionality conventions of Nuu-chah-nulth. Configurationality. Partial head marking. An asymmetry in possessor raising. An asymmetry in incorporation. Weak Crossover effects. Predicate-initial word order. Proposal: ‘Basic’ predicate-initial order (VOS). Evidence for right-branching specifiers. Evidence against verb-raising. Evidence against raising of verbal phrase. Implications for the linearization of affixal predicates. The ‘complement’ effect. Evidence against directionality of affixation. Cliticization domains. DP domain. CP domain. Conclusion.- Chapter 4 Nominal complements of affixal predicates. Introduction. Predication configurations. Basic structures. Transitivization. Flexibility in theta-role mapping. Predicate inventory. Unergatives are necessarily non-affixal.Unaccusatives. Incorporation. Intransitivity in Nuu-chah-nulth. Absence of unergative affixal predicates. ‘Long’ possessor raising as a diagnostic for unaccusativity. Transitives. Incorporation. Subject agreement. Possessor raising. Extended unaccusatives. Locatum predicates. Incorporation. Subject agreement. Possessor raising. Location predicates. Incorporation. Subject agreement. Possessor raising. Ditransitives. Locatum-type ditransitives. Location-type ditransitives. Serial verb affixation. Conclusion.- Chapter 5 Verbal complements of affixal predicates. Introduction. Two classes of ‘verb incorporating’ affixal predicates. Affixal main predicates. Affixal auxiliary predicates. Affixal auxiliaries are non-thematic. Rigid vs. alternating complementation. Ability to license a ‘mismatched’ subject. Citation forms. Summary. PF Incorporation occurs only in infinitival environments. Absence of clausal morphology. No tense. No person/mood agreement. No complementizer. Lack of clause-boundedness effects. ‘Long’ wh-movement. ‘Long’ possessor raising. ‘Long’ possessor raising with affixal auxiliaries. No ‘long’ possessor raising with affixal main predicates. Conclusion.- Chapter 6 Implications. Introduction. Summary. Theoretical implications. Spell-out is strictly interpretive. Comparison to ‘phasal’ spell-out. Variation in permeability of CP domains. The status of the vP domain. The head movement question. Linearization is purely phonological. Syntactic head movement is more complex. Local spell-out creates ‘outside-in’ dependencies. ‘Inside-out’ dependencies are not possible via local spell-out. Evidence from Kwakw’ala (Northern Wakashan). Affixation as primitive or derived. Typological implications. The typology of noun incorporation. The governing/restrictive hypothesis in Wakashan. Lexical suffixation as an areal feature of the Pacific Northwest. Conclusion.- References.- Appendix: Orthography.

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