November 16, 2018

Julie at UTM Linguistics Brown Bag

Julianne Doner (Ph.D.) is the next guest speaker for the Linguistics Brown Bag Lunch series at the Mississauga campus. Her talk, "A 3D typology of the EPP", will be taking place on Monday, November 26, from 11 AM to 12 PM, in room 5128 of the New North Building.

The Extended Projection Principle (EPP) was proposed by Chomsky (1981, 1982) to account for why subjects are obligatory in English clauses. I define the EPP as the obligatory move of some element into the inflectional domain. A variety of EPP types have been identified cross-linguistically: (a) Massam and Smallwood (1997) argue that the EPP in Niuean is checked by VPs; (b) Alexiadou and Anagnostopoulou (1998) argue that the EPP can vary in the size (Xº or XP) of the element that checks it; (c) Davies and Dubinsky (2001) argue for a contrast between D- and V-prominent EPP; and (d) Richards and Biberauer (2005) claim that the EPP pied-pipes the entire vP in some Germanic languages. I argue that the EPP can vary in three dimensions: (a) by having a head (Xº) or a phrase (XP) as a goal, (b) by pied-piping the entire vP or not, and (c) by targeting an argument/nominal (D) or a predicate (Pred). Combining these three dimensions gives us a total of 8 logical types, 7 of which are attested.

Pied-piping No pied-piping
Dº-EPP German
(Richards and Biberauer 2005)
(Alexidou and Anagnostopoulou 1998)
Predº-EPP Irish Inuktitut
(Johns 2007)
DP-EPP Afrikaans
(Richards and Biberauer 2005)
PredP-EPP indistinguishable from no pied-piping Niuean
(Massam 2001)

Some languages exhibit alternations between two EPP types, providing evidence that these different types are equivalent on some level. I will show that intra-linguistic alternations in EPP type target only one dimension of variation at a time. However, where Biberauer (2010) proposes that the various EPP occur independently and can co-occur, as each particular type alternates between presence versus absence, I show that the various EPP types are in complementary distribution. I will also show that these different movements are also united in being somewhat mysterious or unexplained.

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