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ReCoS hierarchy 4

one year on

Jenneke van der Wal

on 18 October 2012

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Transcript of ReCoS hierarchy 4

Configurationality ? ? 1. Characteristics (Hale 1983)
free word order
discontinuous NPs
(case marking)

2. Grammatical functions (not) distinctively encoded by phrase structure
(Bresnan & Mchombo 1987, Baker 2001)

3. Flat structure; no VP node
(Chomsky 1981 and Hale) Non-configurationality Katalin É. Kiss (2001)
“We call a language discourse-configurational if it links either or both of the discourse-semantic functions topic and focus to particular structural positions.” Li and Thompson (1976)
subject – predicate -> topic – comment! Discourse Configurationality Hale (1989:299)
“I suspect strongly that there is no single ‘parameter’ giving rise to the various properties commonly associated with the term ‘non-configurational’.”

Öhl (2010:231)
“The more recent the research on this topic,
the more common the opinion that there is
no real sharp division between [discourse-configurational languages and ‘syntax-configurational ones’].” X-configurational languages? IS & WH BCC Cartoon Theories of Linguistics
(Speculative Grammarian at http://specgram.com) Configurationality all relations
by syntax Continuum = hierarchy? all relations determined by discourse WH questions Information structure syntax-configurational discourse-configurational partly determined by both Movement to left periphery
'What did you eat?' vs. Ulikula nini? 'you-past-eat what' Topic: what the sentence is about,
frame for information in comment Focus: most important information,
element for which alternatives are triggered Contrast/exclusion: operation excluding at least
some of the alternatives NS & PF IAV/IBV VS WH always in focus?
Yes: Q-A pairs as test, always new information
No: languages with different forms or positions for
focused and non-focused WH Operator left periphery universal (Huang 1982),
parameter = strong/weak or +/- movement trigger Focus and WH If "UG doesn't care if we communicate", then how can information structure affect the syntax? Which features? [ WH/Q ]
[ TOP ]
[ FOC ]
[ ^ / EPP]
Edge Feature Prosody Expression of information structure Information structure in morphology Information structure and word order Word order WH, topic and focus are separate properties
Topic movement
WH movement in languages with no initial focus position
Focus movement (& WH not always moved)
Contrast too?
All can influence word order
Assuming a universal underlying word order, (some of) the variation is derived by movement
This is seen as movement for other reasons than argument licensing, so A-bar movement -> but see Jeff Good!
All related to the left periphery (high: CP, low: vP) Word order and movement Or: Lexical Parametrization Hypothesis
(Manzini and Wexler 1987).

All parameters of variation are attributable to differences in the features of particular items (e.g. the functional heads) in the lexicon. Borer-Chomsky Conjecture features! Formal, grammaticalised features! Methodology
(diagnosing IS) How do we know when we are dealing with 'syntactic information structure'? Presence of features
Instantiation of features
Negative value?
"halfway WH"
subfeature Grammaticality vs. Appropriateness?
Affecting other core parts of syntax (inflection, binding, scope, ...)? Movement not always because of feature checking:
- Prosody, e.g. move to position of NSR
- Negative, e.g. to not be in topic domain
- Altruistic, e.g. to allow other constituent in focus position Problem 2: motivation for movement Solution Both narrow syntactic effects (derivational) and interface interpretation (representational)?
Movement and base-generation Contrastive, corrective, informational, new-information, unmarked, completive, assertive, expression, denotation, identificational, exhaustive-listing, exhaustive, exclusive, polar, counter-assertive, restrictive, truth, verum, presentational, aspectual, complex, multiple, pragmatic, semantic, scalar, emphatic, broad, narrow, sentential, sentence, predicate, argument, verb, noun, pre-verbal, even, suspension..... FOCUS Problem 1: Types of categories Talk 'Tests for focus'
Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen
Workshop 'Categories of Information Structure Crosslinguistically' "Solution" Mafioso: all languages have WH, and perhaps also FOC and TOP
But FOC and TOP effects may not be in syntax- not grammaticalised
First two endpoints in hierarchy not attested? Problem 3: Extremes not present? FOCUS (FOCUS) (FOCUS) VERB eskutitza Jonek irakurri du
letter Jon read aux
‘JON has read the letter’ Immediately After/Before the Verb
focus position Not IAV = infelicitous or ungrammatical C. Obligatoriness B. WH words A. Syntactic functions A. Syntactic functions A. Different syntactic functions
B. WH words
C. Obligatoriness

S – V – O – X
Immediate After Verb position (IAV) How do we know? “...the basic position
for the focused or emphasized constituent
is that position which is filled by the object
in a neutral sentence.”
(Harries-Delisle 1978:464)

IAV = (S)VO(S) Basic word order SVO
VS when subject is not topic Word order and Inversion Subject-Object reversal Locative Inversion Default Agreement Inversion Matengo
(13) Ju-híkití Marî:a.
1-arrive.perf 1.Maria
‘Maria has come.’ Agreeing Inversion VSO order
thetic and S focus
conjoint verb form Low subject (Matengo) VOS order
only thetic
disjoint verb form High subject and remnant movement (Makhuwa) Hale (1989:294)
“nonconfigurationality is not a global property of languages; rather, it is a property of constructions.” Problem 4: Languages or constructions? IAV = IAV? IAV = IAV? Makhuwa: compatible with movement to IAV
-> focus position, feature checking
Zulu: non-focus obviates IAV
-> focus domain, negative feature?
Basque: non-focus obviates IBV
-> position NSR

Back to Problem 2: motivation for movement Implications for analysis ? ? ? syntax-configurational discourse-configurational partly determined by both Back to features

Nature of movement trigger: Edge feature?
Nature of movement trigger: various guises of ^
lexical head ^ = comp-to-spec mvt
probe ^ = goal-to-spec mvt
phase head ^ = A-bar mvt Is it movement in all cases? If it is not, how to account for consistent base-generation of certain functions in certain positions? Same features?
This would suggest hierarchy 4 is not just an "A-bar movement hierarchy", but a hierarchy about presence and distribution of discourse-related formal features. Interpretational effects both in narrow syntax (derivation) and interface (representation)?
not economic!
parameter? -> problem 4: per language? per construction? per feature? Parametric variation between constructions
Presence preverbal element (object, locative)
null expletives?
Agreement on verb
topic agreement vs. subject agreement
Position and interpretation of subject
agreement = movement (or not)

Overlap with Hierarchy 2! Back to features Agreement
Phi-features correlate with TOP feature -> A/A-bar?
Presence and sensitivity to Case
Preverbal S/topic
Phi-features correlate with ^
TOP feature correlates with ^ Discourse feature
[TOP] or [-FOC]? Both necessary?

Do we see rules affecting both values, e.g. post-V elements are [-TOP], or DSM with [FOC]? (a bunch of hierarchies on the white board)

+ independent variation in DP/PP Recycled features or separate hierarchies? Morphology Relation basic word order,
grammaticalisation of O to focus Nature of focus position:
features & movement Subject Inversion
1. typology (with Lutz Marten)
2. fieldwork Matengo
underlying structure IAV/IBV
select case studies
try to analyse as PF variation to discover what is not
-> link to methodology Focus tests
After Nijmegen workshop
- 'descriptive' paper
- extend to syntactic focus
for CamCoS 2 WH as a mafioso
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