Vol. XI Nr. 1
Maria M. Manoliu
Cognitive categories and noun classification. Romance neuter: from [passivity] to [indifference]
Abstract: The present contribution aims to reveal the ways in which the evolution of the grammatical category of gender from Latin to Romance reflects the dramatic changes undergone by its semantic domains. Arguments for the hypothesis that Latin gender oppositions were determined by the important role played by activeness (and not animacy) in the interpretation of the state of affairs are brought into the picture in order to explain the subcategorization of nouns in both Latin and in Romance. The term activeness is to be understood as a reflection of the ‘capacity of referents for influencing human life in positive or negative ways’. The changes undergone by grammatical gender in Romance languages were triggered not only by a morpho-syntactic reorganization of case and number, but also by social and pragmatic factors that triggered a reorganization of cognitive categories and their linguistic encoding.
Keywords: activeness, animacy, cognitive categories, grammatical gender, noun classes
María Luisa Rivero
A look at High Applicatives in Romanian: dative experiencers
Abstract: Romanian has both Low Applicative Phrases and High Applicative Phrases. At present, Romanian dative experiencers are High Applicatives with a dative phrase as specifier, and an (obligatory) dative clitic as head. Earlier Romanian dative experiencers differed from their modern counterparts. They were not Applicatives but Locatives, so they did not need to be expressed by a dative clitic, and did not require clitic doubling. Raising constructions display a restriction dubbed here as Experiencer Island. They cannot combine a dative experiencer in the matrix clause with a dative experiencer in the embedded clause. This is because experiencer clitics must be licensed by a deictic Tense. In raising constructions, deictic Tense is in the matrix clause, so locality prevents such a Tense from licensing more than one experiencer clitic at a time.
Keywords: Romanian, dative experiencers, high applicatives
Artemis Alexiadou, Gianina Iordăchioaia, Mihaela Marchis
Supine nominals as participial nominalisations
Abstract: In this paper, we discuss the morpho-syntactic properties of nominal supines in Romanian in relation to their past participle morphology. In view of the morphological similarity between the participle and the nominalization (highlighted by the presence of –t/s in both the verbal and the nominal environment), we claim that the same syntactic structure is present in both. The question we want to then investigate concerns the type of participle involved in the nominalization. Recent work in this area distinguishes between resultant state and target state participles. We show that only the former feeds supine formation.
Keywords: nominal supine, target-state participle, resultant-state participle
Deverbal categories and the split vP hypothesis
Abstract: The goal of this paper is to independently motivate the assumption made by Sleeman and Brito (forthcoming) and Sleeman (2007a,b) that both for nominalizations and for participles five readings can be distinguished. In Sleeman & Brito’s (forthcoming) and Sleeman’s (2007a,b) syntactic approach to morphology, these different readings are reflected in different syntactic structures for each of the five types, more specifically in different features attributed to vP and AspP, and in the presence/absence of vP and AspP, dominating the lexical root of the deverbal category. In this paper I show that the verbal root of the five types corresponds to five different combinations of Ramchand’s (2008) split vP, which is composed of functional heads representing certain features of AspP and vP used in earlier analyses of nominalizations and participles.
Keywords: nominalization, participle, vP, AspP, lexical root, verbal root
On the contrast between Germanic and Romance negated quantifiers
Abstract: Universal quantifiers can be stranded in the manner described by Sportiche (1988), Giusti (1990) and Shlonsky (1991) in both the Romance and Germanic languages, but a negated universal quantifier can only be stranded in the Germanic languages. The goal of this paper is to show that this contrast between the Romance and the Germanic languages can be explained if one adapts the theory of sentential negation in Zeijlstra (2004) to constituent (quantifier) negation. According to Zeijlstra’s theory, a negation marker in the Romance languages is the head of a NegP that dominates vP, whereas in the Germanic languages a negation marker is a maximal projection that occupies the specifier position of a verbal phrase. I will show that the non-occurrence of stranded negated quantifiers in the Romance languages follows from the fact that negation markers in the Romance languages are highly positioned syntactic heads.
Keywords: negation, negated, quantifier, stranding
Measure phrases and the syntax of Romanian nouns and adjectives
Abstract: The paper examines the syntax and interpretation of measure phrases (=MPs) inside Romanian DPs and APs. The MP construction is trans-categorial, so that an understanding of its semantic properties is welcome. Following Schwarzschild (2006), we suggest that MPs are means of measuring out monotonic dimensions in the lexical structure of adjectives, nouns, PPs, etc. Monotonic constructions constitute a family, prototypically represented by the cardinal numerals, but also by partitive and pseudo-partitive constructions. The existence of shared formal elements in all monotonic constructions suggests the presence of a shared functional category, called the Mon(otonicity) P(hrase). Its head, Mon0 relates a lexical category in its complement with a MP in its specifier .Not all MPs receive a partitive monotonic interpretation. The interpretation of MPs inside DPs shows a difference between Partitive MPs, which track monotonic dimensions of objects (doi centimetri de sfoară ‘two centimeters of rope’), and Attributive MPs, which describe dimensional non-monotonic properties of objects (găleată de zece litri ‘ten liters bucket’). In the second part of the paper, a detailed description of the internal structure of DPs and APs which contain MPs is given, starting from the premise that the two interpretations of the MP, partitive and attributive, respectively, might correspond to two different configurations.
Keywords: measure phrases, monotonic constructions, partitivity, dimensional nouns, (in)direct measure phrase modification
A refined typology of internally headed relatives
Abstract: This paper defends a two-pronged syntactic-semantic typology of I(nternally) H(eaded) R(elative construction)s, based on island (in)sensitivity and the restrictive/definite contrast. It illustrates three attested types with data from Lakhota (island insensitive, restrictive), Navajo (island sensitive, restrictive), and Japanese (island sensitive, definite). It is shown that in Lakhota and Japanese the scope of the IH is determined by the surface position of the strong quantifier that binds it, while in Navajo, the quantifier is overtly realized in the relative and construed in the matrix. The paper makes the following contributions to existing literature on the topic: (i) It argues that the IHs of Lakhota do not undergo Head-Raising (contra Williamson 1987) and are merely bound un-selectively a CP-external quantifier, thus avoiding island sensitivity; (ii) it proposes that IH-binding quantifiers in Navajo undergo covert cyclic raising out of the relative into the matrix, and are sensitive to islands for this reason; (iii) it argues that Japanese IHRs do not involve the discourse variety of e-type anaphora (contra Shimoyama 1999), but a grammaticized variety, which involves cyclic raising of a null element, an island sensitive operation.
Keywords: internally headed relative, grammatized e-type anaphora, overt/covert scope, island (in)sensitivity
Against syntactic reconstruction in Romanian gapping
Abstract: It has often been argued that non-constituent coordination (such as Argument Cluster Coordination, Right Node Raising and gapping) involves ellipsis. Focusing in this paper on gapping constructions, we provide empirical evidence drawn from Romanian against strict parallelism and syntactic reconstruction (achieved by a deletion process) and argue in favor of a surface and semantically-oriented approach. We propose a simpler syntactic analysis in terms of fragment, conceived as a fully grammatical structure that is a proper part of the grammar.
Keywords: ellipsis, reconstruction, fragment, gapping
Anne Abeillé, Danièle Godard and Frédéric Sabio
The dramatic extraction construction in French
Abstract: Relying on spoken corpora (Corpaix, CRFP) and on previous studies (Sabio 1995, 1996), we identify a construction common in spoken French, which we analyze as a particular case of extraction:
a. dix sept ans il a. (Seventeen years he has) [Corpaix]
b. deux cigarettes j’ai fumé. (Two cigarettes I smoked) [on the fly]
The construction can only be a root clause and a declarative clause. Its interpretation is that of a thetic proposition. On the other hand, it is not associated with a unique information structure, since it is compatible with a focus-ground partition, with the extracted constotunet as a narrow focus, or with an all focus interpretation. We call this construction ‘dramatic extraction’, and the extracted element a ‘center’ (i.e. a focus or a figure). We formalize our analysis in the HPSG grammar.
Keywords: French, syntax, focus fronting, Romance, HPSG
Gabriela Alboiu and Peter Avery
Argument-adjunct asymmetries in Ndebele: the long and the short of it
Abstract: We propose that the ‘short’ versus ‘long’ form alternation available to the present and recent past tenses in many Bantu languages signals an asymmetry of phasal domains in Ndebele (Nguni, Zimbabwe). Specifically, the short form associates with a phasal, hence Case-licensing, domain and, implicitly, syntactic arguments, while the long form associates with a non-phasal domain which can only engage adjuncts and/or predicates. By looking at quantifier availability, optionality and linearization facts, interactions with object marking, as well as passivization facts, we put forth a syntactic analysis of a phenomenon typically linked to prosody (van der Spuy 1993), phonological weight of vP (Buell 2005), or focusing strategies (Ndayiragije 1999). While not incompatible with former analyses, our approach also has the merit of accounting for previously unnoticed syntactic and semantic idiosyncrasies (e.g. telicity) associated with the short/long split, as well as agreement asymmetries between Bantu and Indo-European.
Keywords: Ndebele, short/long tense, phase, Case, telicity
On adverb formation in Romanian
Abstract: The current paper discusses adverb formation in Romanian starting from the treatment of Spanish –mente adverbs in a recent paper by Torner (2005) who introduces the notion of phrasal affix in his treatment of Spanish –mente adverbs. The analysis of the morphology of Romanian adverbs starts from the three suffixes by means of which the language derives its adverbs (–(a)mente, -(ic)eşte, –iş (-îş)) as well as a bounty of adverbs that have been argued (Forăscu 2002) to be adjectival or participial forms. My proposal is that Romanian (manner) adverbs are derived by means of inflectional affixation, with the above mentioned suffixes, or a silent suffix –Ø – the case of those adverbs that have an identical form to that of the masculine singular adjectives, a suffix that encodes the property (in X manner).
Keywords: phrasal affix, –mente adverbs, silent affix, partly adverbial languages
Virginia Hill and Olga Mišeska-Tomić
A typology of subjunctive complements in Balkan languages
Abstract: This paper proposes a comparative approach to the subjunctive complements to verbs and nouns in two language groups: Romance Balkan (i.e. Standard Romanian, Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian) and Slavic Balkan (mostly Serbian, Croatian, and Macedonian). There are many analyses of V-subjunctive complement selection in these languages but, to our knowledge, none that zooms in on the group differences in the composition of the left periphery of subjunctive clauses. In these configurations, our analysis finds a micro-variation that has implications for the understanding of other cross-linguistic variations among these languages, in particular, in the subjunctive complementation to nouns. In other words, we argue that the typology of verb complementation is the key to the understanding of the typology of noun complementation in these languages.
Keywords: subjunctive complements, typology of verb complementation, Romance Balkan, Slavic Balkan
Maria Aurelia Cotfas
Temporal specification and subject reference in Romanian subjunctive complements
Abstract: The paper looks at the dependency of Romanian subjunctive complements on the semantic class of the matrix verb. It shows that different types of temporal dependency trigger different identity relations between the null embedded subject and the (subject) antecedent in the main clause (cf. Farkas 1984). Volitional verbs are also looked at in terms of the restrictions they impose on the subjunctive complements they subcategorize for. Finally, following Landau’s (1999) classification of infinitive complements in English, Romanian subjunctives are argued to fall into two distinct classes exhibiting different properties in terms of subject reference and temporal dependency.
Keywords: subjunctive, infinitive, control, subject, anaphoric
Florina Pagurschi and Alina Tigău
Sentence-level pronominal subjects in Romanian
Abstract: The current paper aims at investigating the interpretive differences between null and overt pronominal subjects in Romanian in intra-sentential environments. In order to do this, we make use of Reinhart’s (1983, 1997, 1999, 2000) pronoun resolution strategies, namely semantic variable binding and pragmatic covaluation. More specifically, we hypothesize that null pronominal subjects are interpreted via binding, whereas overt forms get the covaluation interpretation. We argue that the availability of a bound variable reading for null pronouns and that of a covaluation interpretation for overt elements also follows from accessibility theory proposed in Ariel (1990, 1991, 1994). The conclusion shows that the overt pronoun can also act as a variable bound by an operator, but this possibility is blocked by accessibility predictions. Our analysis is supported by a corpus of Romanian examples that take into account different types of antecedents.
Keywords: null pronouns, overt pronouns, binding, covaluation, accessibility
Larisa Avram and Martine Coene
Null objects and Accusative clitics in Romanian
Abstract: Starting from the identification of the obligatory contexts in which the Accusative clitic occurs in Romanian we offer a unifying analysis of its role across all the identified contexts. We argue that Accusative clitics in Romanian reflect a ban on D-linked null objects. The Person feature in D requires that it be overt with argumental individuated DPs and the Person feature in Inflection blocks feature Matching between a referential null object and its antecedent. The analysis of the contexts in which Accusative clitics occur and of the role of the preposition pe in clitic doubling constructions reveals that Romanian has two syntactic means of signaling topicality: D-linked topicality is signaled by clitics and speaker-linked topicality by the preposition pe.
Keywords: Accusative clitics, Discourse-linked topicality, speaker-linked topicality, null object, Person
Andrei A. Avram
The allomorphy of the transitive suffix in Pijin
Abstract: This paper looks at the factors accounting for the occurrence of the various allomorphs of the transitive suffix in Pijin, an English-lexified pidgin spoken in the Solomon Islands. Unlike previous descriptions of the phonology and/or the morphology of Pijin, this analysis of the allomorphy of the transitive suffix starts from the assumption that the selection of its various allomorphs depends on the type of root, consonant-final or vowel-final, from which transitive verbs are derived. The allomorphs occurring with consonant-final roots consist of both phonologically and lexically conditioned ones. It is demonstrated that the former contain a vowel whose quality is due to the phonological processes of vowel copying and labial attraction, and to the use of two default vowels. Consequently, the rules of vowel harmony posited by previous analyses play no part in the choice of the vowel of these allomorphs. There is, however, considerable inter- and intra-speaker variation with respect to this vowel. Vowel-final roots are shown to combine with one allomorph. Finally, one type of base, previously considered to be vowel-final, is analyzed as a consonant-final root exhibiting allomorphy.
Keywords: Pijin, transitive verbs, transitive suffix, suffix allomorphy, root allomorphy
Lexical and grammatical aspect in language acquisition
Abstract: This paper investigates the relation between lexical and grammatical aspect in child Romanian. It tests the predictions of the Aspect First Hypothesis against the data of one Romanian speaking child. It finds that the Aspect First Hypothesis is not confirmed by child Romanian in its strong interpretation. However, the data supports the prototype reinterpretation of the Aspect First Hypothesis.
Keywords: aspect, tense, Aspect First Hypothesis, child Romanian