October 20, 2014

Research Groups: Friday, October 24

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Psycholinguistics Group

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Syntax/Semantics Group

Keffyalew Gebregziabher: "Neither fish nor fowl: The role of nay in Tigrinya."

In Tigrinya (Semitic, Ethiopia & Eritrea; SOV), there is an element, nay, that serves (among other things) to distinguish between two, both semantically and syntactically different, possessives: (i) Nay-marked possessives; (ii) Bare (non-nay-marked) possessives. The former type is used for alienable possession while the latter one is used for inalienable possession. Two hypotheses have been proposed for a similar element, yə-, in Amharic, a very closely related language: (a) yə- is a genitive Case-marker (Ouhalla 2004); (b) yə- is a linker (den Dikken 2007). In this talk, I show that neither hypothesis (a) nor hypothesis (b) is adequate to account for all the facts of Tigrinya nay. Instead, I propose that nay is a nominal copula and its role is to introduce a grammatical relation between two dependents (e.g., a nay-marked possessor and its possessee).

Tomohiro Yokoyama: "Features wearing two hats: Derivation of object-marked verbs in Kinyarwanda."

In this paper, I propose that while feature valuation motivates internal/external Merge, as has previously been claimed, checking of uninterpretable features is a distinct operation which triggers head movement. The proposed feature system leads to incorporation of clitics  (object markers) at the phase edge (i.e. v* or Voice) after all the clitics have been merged in their respective argument positions. Consequently, the surface order of object markers can be derived by head movement without having to strengthen the Morphological Component or implement PF rules.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Fieldwork Group
Discussion of a short article by Sonya Bird on phonetic fieldwork and experimental design in the Pacific Northwest.

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