May 8, 2016

Research Groups: Week of May 9-13

Thursday, May 12 - 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM in Bissell 112
Syntax/Semantics Group
Will Oxford (Ph.D. 2014, now at the University of Manitoba): "Proximate DP, obviative KP."

Algonquian languages make a morphosyntactic distinction between two degrees of third-person reference: the most salient third person in a clause is marked as “proximate” while all others are marked as 'obviative' (or 'fourth person'). I propose that the proximate/obviative distinction reflects a difference in thesize of the relevant nominal expressions: proximate third persons are DP while obviative third persons are KP (cf. Richards 2010). The additional KP layer in an obviative is required in order to isolate it from a CP-level operator that is responsible for obligatory coreference effects. I show how the DP/KP analysis captures the morphosyntactic properties of obviation (word order effects, direct-inverse hierarchy, morphological markedness, etc.) and also correctly leaves room for conditioning by pragmatic factors.

Friday, May 13 - 1:00 PM sharp to 2:00 PM in SS 560A
Fieldwork Group
Group discussion of whether to change the department's guidelines for elicitation fieldwork with indigenous people around the world.

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