Schedule -- Spring 2019
January 11 NO COLLOQUIUM
January 18 NO COLLOQUIUM
January 25 Matt Goldrick (Department of Linguistics, Northwestern University)
February 1 Leon Bergen (Department of Linguistics, University of California, San Diego)
February 8 Patrice Beddor (Department of Linguistics, University of Michigan)
February 15 SPECIAL TALK -- 2019 HLT talk series Tatjana Scheffler (University of Potsdam)
February 22 Dylan Bumford (Department of Linguistics, UCLA)
March 1 NO COLLOQUIUM
March 8 NO COLLOQUIUM
March 15 Vera Gribanova (Department of Linguistics, Stanford University)
TITLE: Predicate formation strategies and verb-stranding ellipsis in Uzbek
In this talk, I present an investigation of the interaction between head movement and ellipsis of vP/AspP/TP (verb-stranding ellipsis, VSE) in Uzbek — an under-studied, head-final Turkic language of Central Asia. I argue that Uzbek has two distinct strategies for the composition of predicates: one is head movement (for verbal predicates) and the other is merger under adjacency (for non-verbal predicates). Since the independently demonstrable availability of head movement is a requirement for verb-stranding ellipsis, this makes the prediction that VSE could in theory be available for verbal, but never non-verbal predicates in Uzbek. I show that this prediction is borne out: non-verbal predicates permit only argument ellipsis while verbal predicates permit both argument ellipsis and VSE. In configurations involving Uzbek finite verbs, certain environments — those with object depictives and those with adjectival complements — permit only verb-stranding ellipsis but never argument ellipsis. In just this set of environments, Uzbek VSE imposes a strict identity requirement on the material extracted from the ellipsis site.
This last observation tells us a lot about the architectural status of head movement and its interaction with ellipsis. Syntactic movement of phrases out of ellipsis sites (e.g. in sluicing) permits violations of lexical identity of the extracted material under focus (Schuyler, 2001; Merchant, 2001). This is usually attributed to the syntactic nature of the movement and to the licensing condition on ellipsis (Rooth 1992, Heim 1997, Merchant 2001), which takes distinct variables inside the ellipsis domain and its antecedent to be identical. For head movement out of ellipsis sites, the results are variable across languages. Languages like Russian — among them Hungarian, European Portuguese, and Swahili — permit mismatches between extracted parts of the verbal complex and their corresponding antecedent components under focus, just as with phrasal extraction in sluicing. Languages like Irish and Scottish Gaelic do not permit such mismatches under any circumstances, potentially pointing to a postsyntactic status for head movement: if there is no syntactic movement out of the ellipsis site, this gives rise to a total identity requirement (Schoorlemmer and Temmerman, 2012; McCloskey, 2016). Recent studies (Landau to appear; Thoms 2018; Merchant 2018) have raised the question of whether the Irish and Scottish Gaelic pattern may be a language-specific anomaly, explainable by other means. If this is correct, then the crosslinguistic behavior of head movement out of ellipsis sites is not really variable, and is just like that of phrasal movement, as in the Russian-type languages.
The observation that genuine VSE in Uzbek imposes a strict identity requirement on material that is head-moved out of the ellipsis site supports the argument that an absolute identity requirement is genuinely present in a certain set of (typologically diverse) languages (though not all, as exemplified by Russian VSE). As Gribanova (2018) points out, this variable crosslinguistic behavior when it comes to identity requirements on the element(s) that are head-moved out of an ellipsis site is predicted by an independently supported view of head movement (Harizanov and Gribanova 2018) in which certain types of head movement are syntactic (yielding the Russian-type VSE pattern), while others are postsyntactic (yielding the Irish/Uzbek-type VSE pattern). The Uzbek investigation therefore provides crucial evidence in favor of a particular view of the crosslinguistic landscape of VSE, and moves us a step closer to explaining why head movement out of ellipsis domains varies systematically in its behavior across languages.
March 22 Marton Soskuthy (Department of Linguistics, University of British Columbia)
March 29 Maria Luisa Zubizarreta (Department of Linguistics, University of Southern California)
TITLE: The evidential-temporal connection in a tenseless language.
(in ollaboration with Roumyana Pancheva)
In this work, we argue that temporality can be computed indirectly via evidentiality and that this is the case for Paraguayan Guarani, a tense-less language. To model the evidential-temporal connection, we employ features from the domains of person (author, participant) and spatial deixis (proximate, distal). We discuss in detail the case of two evidential morphemes: indirect evidential ra’e and reportative raka’e. We argue that these particles do not have temporal features; rather their temporal contribution is the result of an inference from their evidential meaning.
April 5 Joe Salmons and Monica Macauley (Department of Linguistics, University of Wisconsin--Madison)
April 12 NO COLLOQUIUM
April 19 NO COLLOQUIUM
April 26 NO COLLOQUIUM