Wednesday 26 April – James Griffiths

Speaker: James Griffiths (University of Konstanz/LUCL)
Title: Echo fragments: preliminary remarks
Date: Wednesday 26 April
Venue: Lipsius 30
Time: 15.15-16.30 hrs
Echo fragments (1b) are the fragmentary (i.e. elliptical) versions of true echo questions (1a) (Sobin 2010).

  • Context: A and B are organising the Oscars award ceremony.

A:          Make sure the Oscar is presented by the husband of Michelle Obama.

Incredulous that A wants an Oscar to be presented by an ex-president, B replies:

  • B: Make sure it’s presented by the husband of whom?
    B: Make sure it’s presented by the husband of Michelle Obama?


  • B: Presented by the husband of whom?
    B: Presented by the husband of Michelle Obama?

To date, echo fragments have received scant attention in literature that adopts a PF-deletion (Ross 1969, Merchant 2001) approach to ellipsis (for cursory remarks, see Abe & Tancredi 2013). This oversight is unfortunate, as echo fragments, being in-situ questions in wh-movement languages such as English, have the potential to be highly instructive for such theories.
To remedy this oversight, Güliz Güneş, Anikó Lipták, and I have recently embarked on the first in-depth cross-linguistic investigation of echo fragments (which focusses on English, Hungarian, and Turkish). This talk provides an introduction to data collected so far, highlights points of cross-linguistic variation, and provides speculative remarks about how these data should be analysed and what they might tell us about the nature of ellipsis (and echoicity more generally).

Abe, J. & C. Tancredi. 2013. Non-Constituent Deaccenting and Deletion: A Phase-Based Approach. Ms., Tohoku Gakuin University & Keio University.
Merchant, J. 2001. The Syntax of Silence. OUP.
Merchant, J. 2004. Fragments and ellipsis. Linguistics & Philosophy 27: 661-738.
Ross, John R. 1969. Guess who? In R. Binnick et al. (eds.) CLS5. Chicago Linguistic Society, 252–286.
Sobin, N. 2010. Echo questions in the Minimalist program. Linguistic Inquiry 41: 131-148.

Posted in Linguistics | Leave a comment

Thursday 20 April – Heidi Klockmann

Speaker: Heidi Klockmann (Utrecht University /Leiden University)
Title: The semi-lexicality of quantificational nouns in English pseudopartitives
Date: Thursday 20 April
Venue: Lipsius 30
Time: 15.15-16.30 hrs
In this talk, I discuss the use of the quantificational nouns lot, ton, and bunch (Q-nouns) in English pseudopartitives. These elements show a mixed behavior, functioning as quantifiers (i.e. they say something about the quantity of the following noun), despite having an apparently nominal morphosyntax. In particular, they surface with both an indefinite article and the particle of (1)-(3), just as non-quantifying nouns do (4). Ton and lot, furthermore, allow for plural marking (5)-(6) in their quantifying function.
(1)           A bunch of people

(2)           A ton of flowers

(3)           A lot of books

(4)           A gathering of friends

(5)           Tons of flowers

(6)           Lots of books

I report on the morphosyntactic properties of these Q-nouns, including their behavior with regards to Agreement, drawing extensively on data from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (Davies 2008-), as well as speaker judgments. I explore the similarity of Q-nouns to other quantificational elements, like numerals (three, a hundred) and quantifiers (a few, many), as well as their similarity to lexical nouns. I develop the hypothesis that Q-nouns are semi-lexical (see van Riemsdijk 1998, Corver and van Riemsdijk 2001, among others), and show how a proper understanding of their semi-lexicality can allow us to account for their mixed behavior.

Posted in Linguistics | Leave a comment

Thursday 13 April – Jaklin Kornfilt ***DATE CHANGED***

Speaker: Jaklin Kornfilt  (Syracuse University)
Title: NP versus DP: A cross-linguistic parameter?
Date: Thursday 13 April
Venue: Lipsius 307
Time: 15.15-16.30 hrs

In a series of studies, Bošković (e.g. 2008, 2012, 2013) proposes a linguistic typology based on a posited dichotomy between languages whose “traditional” NPs are actually DPs and languages where the relevant projection does not go beyond the level of NP. (This would challenge, among others, the proposal in Abney (1987), according to which all languages have DPs.) One immediate clue for the relevant type of a language in this respect would be whether it has articles or not. More interestingly, Bošković proposes additional properties which a language would or would not exhibit, depending on whether it is an “NP-” or a “DP-” language (e.g. NP- languages disallow clause-mate NPI licensing under Neg.-Raising (NR), and DP- languages allow it; only DP-languages allow the majority superlative reading; inverse scope is unavailable in NP-languages).

In a related study, Bošković & Şener (2014) claim that Turkish is an NP-language, and that it therefore exhibits the properties which Bošković’s system would ascribe to it. They further posit a structure of the NP from which (at least some of) the relevant properties of Turkish would follow, according to their claims.

In this presentation, I challenge: 1. most of the details proposed for the Turkish NP by Bošković & Şener; 2. the posited correlation between the NP/DP “typology” and the properties which are claimed to be found in “DP-” versus “NP-” languages, and 3. illustrate my criticism via examples mainly from Turkish, but also from German and English, i.e. from “DP-languages”. By doing so, I hope to show that the problems discussed go beyond a mischaracterization of the discussed languages; rather, the proposed typology based on whether any given language is an “NP-language“ versus “DP-language”, if true, would be true for reasons other than those given in the literature mentioned, and would have to be based on other criteria.

Abney, S. (1987) The English noun phrase in its sentential aspect. Doctoral dissertation, MIT.
Bošković, Z. (2008) “What will you have, DP or NP?” Proceedings of NELS 37. Bošković, Z. (2012) “On NPs and Clauses”; in Discourse and Grammar: From Sentence Types to Lexical Categories; G. Grewendorf and T. E. Zimmermann (eds.), pp. 179-242.
Bošković, Z. (2013) “Phases beyond clauses”; in The Nominal Structure in Slavic and
Beyond; L. Schürcks, A. Giannakidou, U. Etxebarria, P. Kosta (eds.)
Bošković, Z. & S. Şener (2014) “ The Turkish NP”; in Crosslinguistic Studies on Noun
Phrase Structure and Reference; P. Cabredo Hofherr and A. Zribi-Hertz; Leiden: Brill, pp. 102-140.

Posted in Linguistics | Leave a comment

Thursday 6 April – Andrés Saab

Speaker: Andrés Saab (Universidad de Buenos Aires / Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas)

Title: Ellipsis as silent doubling

Date: Thursday 6 April

Venue: Lipsius 30

Time: 15.15-16.30 hrs


I address the well-known problem of the identity condition on ellipsis (semantic or syntactic?) from a novel (or maybe better, broader) perspective, namely, I contend that the identity problem forms a natural class with the also well-known doubling problem (Kayne/Jaeggli’s observation).

(1)        Juan     la         vio       a          María.

J            CL       saw     DOM   M.

Given a doubling configuration like this, there are questions at the basic level both from a syntactic (Case) and a semantico-pragmatic perspective (binding and so on). My point is that ellipsis consists of a silent doubling structure where a sometimes silent pronominal element (RE in 2) and a full-fledged syntactic structure (E-site in 2) form a doubling configuration:

(2)        John saw someone but I don’t who [RP RE [E-site]]   Surface anaphora

 In contradistinction with an overt doubling like (1), in (2) RE is in charge of the semantic resolution of ellipsis (as in many LF-copy approaches, although we will see essential differences) and the E-site is entirely resolved in the syntax via lexical-syntactic identity. Lexical-syntactic identity is simply an instruction for creating syntactic fossils. In other words, ellipsis applies in the syntax and instructs both interfaces for not realizing the E-site. A syntactic fossil, then, is just dead syntax. Put differently, ellipsis is conceived here as both PF and LF “deletion” (deletion = absence of interface legibility). “Ellipsis as doubling” has many empirical consequences. It provides a plausible solution to at least the following ellipsis puzzles:

(3)        a. Vehicle Change effects (without appealing to VC),

  1. Indexical switches (without accommodation),
  2. Expressive mismatches (under perfect syntactic identity),
  3. Bias Vehicle Change also under perfect syntactic identity (i.e., legitimate ellipses where there is a mismatch in the bias of some lexical or functional item included in the E-site)

For each of these cases, I propose a derivation where antecedents and E-sites are syntactically identical (in a sense to be defined during the talk) without obtaining any semantic mismatch at LF. This is so because of two basic reasons: (a) the E-site is an LF fossil as already mentioned, and (b) RE semantically resolves the ellipses by only making reference to the at-issue content of the antecedent. The two essential assumptions that are the core of this proposal receive independent corroboration from different empirical domains. As for RE, Elbourne (2008), Bentzen et al (2013) and Messick et al (2016) have provided robust evidence for the presence of a pronominal (deep) element in surface anaphora. In this talk I will discuss two pieces of evidence in favor of the syntactic and semantic activity of R, namely, Inheritance of Content (Chung et al 1995 and Romero 2008, among others) and Barros’ effect (Barros 2012). As for LF “deletion”, our second core assumption, I will discuss evidence coming from the so-called allosemy view (Marantz 2013 and Harley 2014, among others), according to which lexical and functional items also require late insertion at the LF interface under particular locality conditions.



Bentzen, Kristine, Jason Merchant, and Peter Svenonius. 2013. Deep properties of surface pronouns: pronominal predicate anaphors in Norwegian and German. Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 16:97–125.

Barros, Matthew. 2012. Else-modification as a diagnostic for pseudosluicing. URL, ms.,RutgersUniversity.

Chung, Sandra, William Ladusaw, and James McCloskey. 1995. Sluicing and Logical

Form. Natural Language Semantics 3:239–282.

Elbourne, Paul. 2008. Ellipsis sites as definite descriptions. Linguistic Inquiry 39:191–220.

Harley, Harley. 2014. On the identity of roots. Theoretical Linguistics 40: 225–276.

Marantz, Alec. 2013. Locality domains for contextual allomorphy across the interfaces. In Matushansky, O. and A. Marantz (eds.) Distributed Morphology today. Morphemes for Morris Halle. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT, press, 95-116.

Messick, Troy, Andrés Saab & Luis Vicente. 2016. Deep properties of a surface anaphora. Ms., UConn, CONICET-UBA, University of Potsdam.

Romero, Maribel. 1998. Focus and reconstruction effects in wh- phrases. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Posted in Linguistics | Leave a comment

Thursday 23 March-Beste Kamali

Speaker: Beste Kamali, Universität Bielefeld

Title: Negative concord in Turkish polar questions

Date: Thursday March 23

Venue: Lipsius 30

Time: 15:15 – 16:30 hrs


Turkish is a strict negative concord (NC) language. That is, it has n-words rather than existential polarity items, which are morphologically negative, and are licensed syntactically rather than semantically. This claim is based on the observation that n-words are licensed under clausemate negation and not in constituent questions or conditionals. I will introduce polar questions to this picture and show that  a well-defined class of polar questions is also an n-word licensing context. I will further show that this class is intimately related to negation in a few other respects, from inducing polarity alternatives to morphosyntactic behavior. The question is how the implicit negation in these “bipolar” polar questions is encoded in the grammar. Do they rely on a syntactic head and consequently engage in syntactic concord, or should we rather re-analyze concord under negation as a special case of semantic licensing?

Posted in Linguistics | Leave a comment

Thursday 9 March – Ora Matushansky

Speaker: Ora Matushansky (CNRS)

Title: Matching locatives with places

Date: Thursday 9 March

Venue: Lipsius 30

Time: 15.15-16.30 hrs



An extremely robust but previously unnoticed cross-linguistic generalization is that the distribution of locative cases is frequently restricted to a specific subset of DPs: demonstratives, some classes of toponyms and a closed set of common nouns. I will provide examples from a number of languages of how exactly this restriction can play out and argue for the availability of locus denotation for some nouns, explaining this phenomenon.

Posted in Linguistics | Leave a comment

Thursday 23 February – Güliz Güneş & Aslı Göksel

Speaker: Güliz Güneş (Leiden University) & Aslı Göksel (Boğaziçi University)

Title: Phonology of Agreement: optional double agreement and optional resizing of phonological words in Turkish

Date: Thursday 23 February

Time: 15.15-16.30

Venue: Lipsius 30


THE ISSUE: Stress in Turkish is typically word-final (1a-b, where prominence is denoted by capital letters). However, certain morphemes trigger stress on the morphemes that immediately precede them (e.g. the copula in 1c). Given the exceptional stress patterns that they create, these so-called pre-stressing morphemes have generated much recent debate.

1. a. [kitAp] b. [gör-dü-lEr] c. [gör-ecEk-i-di-ler]

        book              see-PST-3PL      see-FUT COPPST-3PL

‘book’ ‘They saw (it).’ ‘They were going to see (it).’

2. a. [(gör-ecEk)M/ω -i-di-ler] b. [(gör-dü-lEr)M/ω] c. [(kitAp)M/ω]

The prosodic grouping in (2) hints towards an apparent mismatch of domains, in which a prosodic word may target an entire “word”, i.e. root+its affixes (in 2b and c, the verbal complex and the vowel harmonic word) or only a part of it (2a). In this paper we argue that such morphemes are not problematic after all. We claim that the phenomenon in (1c) arises not from a mismatch of domains, but from a mismatch in the timing and direction of the formation of morphosyntactic and prosodic constituents.

SET I – optional resizing of ωs: Any account that assumes the raising of the participle to a position where agreement resides (cf. Shwayder 2015 and the references in there) cannot foresee the variable prosodic grouping given below. This is because, if each M-word corresponds to an ω, and if an M-word is derived via raising, then any M-word that contains the agreement morpheme must invariably correspond to a single ω. This is not borne out – compare (3a) and (3b).

3. A: Had the visitors seen Bill?

a. B: [((gör-mÜş)ω-NP (-ler-Ø-di)ω)φ]ι-F

            see-PERF– 3PLCOPPST

           Lit: ‘(They) had seen.’

a. B: [((gör-müş -lEr)ω-NP (-Ø-di)ω)φ]ι-F

            see-PERF-3PL COPPST

         Lit: ‘(They) had seen.’

Dissimilar to the previous accounts, we claim that there is no v-to-Asp or v-to-T raising in Turkish. As such, the M-words that host both the verb root and T or Asp are derived via the lowering of T and Asp to v. In the talk, we will show how this twist naturally accounts for the optional resizing of ωs given in (3).

SET II – optional double agreement: Although the agreement morpheme is commonly exponed on the right edge of the verbal complex (as in 1b and c), certain agreement markers may also be realized on the right edge of the verb participle (i.e. in the middle of the vowel harmonic word) (as in 3). Among the two agreement paradigms in Turkish, (i.e. K-paradigm and Z-paradigm), only the exponents of the K-paradigm and the third person plural form of the Z-paradigm seem to be allowed in the verb-medial position (Sezer 1998, Good & Yu 2005). What is more, prosodic grouping indicates that variable ω-formation is possible only with those agreement morphemes that are allowed in medial position.

We present novel data to show that the agreement markers that are allowed in the verb-medial position may also be realized simultaneously in two places, i.e. both verb-finally and verb-medially.

4. gör-müş –ler-Ø-di-ler.


    Lit: ‘(They) had seen.’

In the second half of the talk we will discuss if there is a correlation between the medial (double) vs. final realization of agreement and prosodic resizing. We conclude that these are independent phenomena and however agreement is derived, a strategy such as lowering is necessary to predict variable parses given in (3).

We will also discuss other phonological accounts for double agreement from other languages such as Spanish (Harris & Halle 2005) and Basque (Arregi & Nevins 2012), and conclude that the double realization of agreement in Turkish cannot be accounted for by simply appealing to the phonological reduplication.

SELECTED REFERENCES: Good, J. & Yu, A. 2005. Morphosyntax of two Turkish subject pronominal paradigms. In Clitic and Affix Combinations, eds. L. Heggie, & F. Ordòñez: Amsterdam/ Philadelphia, John Benjamins B. V., 315-342. ■ Newell, H. 2008. Aspects of the morphology and phonology of phases. PhD dissertation, McGillU. ■ Sağ, Y. 2013. Copula in Turkish. In WAFL 8. Ed. U. Özge, 293–299. MIT WPL. ■ Shwayder, K. 2015. Words and subwords: phonology in a piece-based syntactic morphology. PhD dissertation, UPenn.

Posted in Linguistics | Leave a comment

Thursday 9 February – Seid Tvica

Speaker: Seid Tvica (UvA)
Title: The Rich Agreement Hypothesis beyond Indo-European
Date: Thursday 9 February
Venue: Lipsius 30
Time: 15.15-16.30 hrs

It is well-established in the literature that many Germanic and Romance languages differ in the placement of adverbs, appearing either before or after the finite verb. This typological distinction is standardly accounted for via v-to-I0 movement, arguably triggered by the subject agreement features that are assumed to be located at I0 (cf. Roberts 1985; Kosmeijer 1986; Rohrbacher 1994; Vikner 1995; Bobaljik and Thráinsson 1998; Koeneman and Zeijlstra 2014, among many others). The observed correlation between the properties of agreement morphology and verb movement gave rise to the so-called “Rich Agreement Hypothesis” (RAH) which states that in controlled environments the finite verb moves to a vP-external position if and only if the agreement morphology is rich (cf. Koeneman and Zeijlstra 2014).  In this talk, I present the results of a typological investigation of the RAH, showing that the hypothesis holds in all studied  languages outside Indo-European that exhibit environments in which the presence (or absence) of verb movement can be detected. Although a number of languages prima facie appear to challenge the RAH, it turns out that these “counter-examples” arise due to either morphological triggers of verb movement that are not related to agreement, or other types of displacements, such as vP- and vP-remnant movement.

Posted in Linguistics | Leave a comment

Wednesday 14 December – Vera Gribanova

Speaker: Vera Gribanova (Stanford University)
Title: On head movement and the verbal identity condition in ellipsis
Date: Wednesday 14 December
Venue: Matthias de Vrieshof 2/001
Time: 15.15-16.30 hrs

In this talk I present recent developments in our understanding of the mechanisms that yield head movement configurations (Gribanova and Harizanov, in progress) and use these developments to explain otherwise mysterious contrasts involving the verbal identity condition in verb-stranding ellipsis (VSE) across languages. Such configurations involve verb movement out of an ellipsis domain that is TP/AspP/vP sized (depending on the language).

Although constituent ellipsis typically requires identity of the elided constituent with respect to some linguistic antecedent, phrasal extraction is special: when there is phrasal movement out of an ellipsis site (1), the extracted element need not match its antecedent:

1. I know how many cats John owns <how many cats>, but not how many dogs [he owns <how many dogs>].

The usual way of understanding this observation is that the extraction leaves a variable in the base position, and variables are considered identical for the purposes of the licensing condition on ellipsis (Rooth 1992, Heim 1997, Merchant 2001).

Early work on VSE in Irish (McCloskey 2012, 2011) and Hebrew (Goldberg, 2005a,b) demonstrated the verb, when head-moved out of an elided constituent, behaves unlike the phrasal cases in (1), never permitting any sort of mismatch with its antecedent. This gave rise to the Verbal Identity Condition, stated in (2):

2. The Verbal Identity Condition:
The licensing condition on ellipsis requires identity between parts of the morphosyntactic (verbal) complex that originate inside the ellipsis site and the corresponding antecedent parts.

This observation, in turn, has been used to support the idea that head movement is postsyntactic (Schoorlemmer and Temmerman, 2012): if the parts of the verbal complex unify postsyntactically, they will be inside the ellipsis site in the narrow syntax and at the time of ellipsis licensing, necessitating a strict matching between those parts and the antecedent. On this view, as far as the syntax is concerned, there is no movement and therefore no possibility for mismatch, explaining the contrast with genuine syntactic phrasal movement in (1).

The more we learn about VSE crosslinguistically, however, the more it becomes apparent that the VIC is not a universal property of these constructions. In languages like Russian (Gribanova 2013, To appear), Hungarian (Lipták 2013), European Portuguese (Santos 2009), and Swahili (Ngoyani 1996), the stranded verb in VSE need not match its antecedent, if the two involve contrast. A Russian example is provided in (3):

3. Violations of the VIC with contrasting verbs:
a.Našel                li  Paša knigu          v   biblioteke,       i        žurnal                 v   stolovoj?
find.PST.SG.M  Q Paša book.ACC   in library.PREP  and  magazine.ACC   in cafeteria.PREP
‘Did Pasha find a book in the library and magazine in the cafeteria?’

b. Net, ne      našel,                    a      poterjal.
No,  NEG   find.PST.SG.M, but lose.PST.SG.M
No, he didn’t find (…), he lost (…).’

c. Našel,              no   potom poterjal
find.PST.SG.M  but then     lose.PST.SG.M
‘He did (…), but then he lost (…)’

Such patterns lead to a paradox: on the one hand, the absolute application of the VIC in languages like Hebrew and Irish points to a postsyntactic status for head movement. On the other hand, the ability to mismatch verbs under contrast in languages like Russian suggests that head movement in such cases is acting more like the phrasal movement in (1) — suggesting that it takes place in the narrow syntax.

I present a solution to this paradox that relies on a recent set of proposals by Gribanova and Harizanov (in progress). The core idea is that  the phenomena we attribute to ‘head movement’ can be bifurcated into two groups: i) post syntactic amalgamation of heads, which is morphophonologically driven, and ii) genuine syntactic movement, which yields word order permutations but not word formation. This view gives us a point of leverage to start thinking about the paradoxical VIC patterns, the idea being that mismatches in VSE are permitted when ‘head movement’ is syntactic, but not when it is postsyntactic. I present independently motivated analyses of Irish and Russian clause structure which support exactly this conclusion. Verb movement in Irish involves postsyntactic amalgamation only, predicting  that the VIC should always be observed. By contrast, head movement in Russian involves both the syntactic and the postsyntactic types, with the last movement step being syntactic and giving rise to the possibly of verbal mismatches like (3) in VSE.


Goldberg, Lotus. 2005a. On the identity requirement in VP ellipsis. Presented at the Identity in Ellipsis workshop at UC Berkeley.
Goldberg, Lotus. 2005b. Verb-stranding vp ellipsis: A cross-linguistic study. PhD diss, McGill University.
Gribanova, Vera. 2013. Verb-stranding verb phrase ellipsis and the structure of the Russian verbal complex. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 31 (1): 91–136.
Gribanova, Vera. To appear. Head movement and ellipsis in the expression of Russian polarity focus. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory.
Gribanova, Vera, and Boris Harizanov. In progress. Whither head movement? Stanford University.
Heim, Irene. 1997. Predicates or formulas? Evidence from ellipsis. In Proceedings from Semantics and Linguistic Theory VII, ed. Aaron Lawson, 197–221. Cornell, Ithaca: CLC Publications.
Lipták, Anikó. 2013. The syntax of emphatic positive polarity in Hungarian: evidence from ellipsis. Lingua 128: 72–92.
McCloskey, James. 2011. The shape of Irish clauses. In Formal approaches to Celtic linguistics, ed. Andrew Carnie, 143–178. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
McCloskey, James. 2012. Polarity, ellipsis and the limits of identity in Irish. Workshop on Ellipsis, Nanzan University.
Merchant, Jason. 2001. The syntax of silence: Sluicing, islands and the theory of ellipsis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ngonyani, Deo. 1996. VP ellipsis in Ndendeule and Swahili applicatives. In Syntax at Sunset, UCLA working papers in syntax and semantics, Number 1, eds. Edward Garrett and Felicia Lee, 109–128. Department of Linguistics, UCLA.
Rooth, Mats. 1992a. Ellipsis redundancy and reduction redundancy. In Proceedings from the Stuttgart Ellipsis Workshop, eds. S. Berman and A. Hestvik. Arbeitspapiere des Sonderforschungsbereichs 340, No. 29.
Schoorlemmer, Erik, and Tanja Temmerman. 2012. Head movement as a PF-phenomenon: evidence from identity under ellipsis. In Proceedings of the 29th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, eds. Jaehoon Choi, E. Alan Hogue, Jeffrey Punske, Deniz Tat, Jessamyn Schertz, and Alex Trueman, 232–240. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Posted in Linguistics | Leave a comment

Thursday 8 December – Metin Bağrıaçık‎

Speaker: Metin Bağrıaçık (Ghent University)
Title: Relative Clauses in Asia Minor Greek
Date: Thursday 8 December
Venue: Matthias de Vrieshof 4/012
Time: 15.15-16.30 hrs

In this talk I will provide a synchronic and a diachronic account of the micro-variation in headed relative clause (HRC) formation strategies within the Asia Minor Greek dialects (dialects which were spoken in the regions known as Cappadocia, Pharasa and Pontus in modern-day Turkey until 1923, but are now spoken in various locations in Greece). In all the three dialects, HRCs are finite structures. In Cappadocian and (certain sub-varieties of Pontic) HRCs are obligatorily prenominal and are introduced by morphemes identical with the definite neuter singular/plural articles (‘to/ta’– dubbed as relative articles) which agree with the number feature on the head. In Pharasiot today, HRCs, which are –similar to Cappadocian and Pontic – finite, can nevertheless be both prenominal and postnominal without any semantic or pragmatic difference between the two, and the latter has been available only for the last four decades. Moreover, in this variety, both types of HRCs are introduced by a unique morpheme near identical in form to the relative articles of the other two dialects, ‘tu’.

I will first reveal that synchronically there is nothing as ‘relative articles’ in any of the dialects, but HRCs are simply subject to the phenomenon of ‘Obligatory Definiteness Spread’ according to which all (strictly) prenominal adjectival, numeral and relative modifiers have to be marked by overt neuter articles if the head they modify is definite. This is corroborated by the fact that there is a definiteness restriction on the head in HRCs in Cappadocian and Pontic. In Pharasiot, however, the head can be both definite or indefinite, which suggests that ‘tu’ is not an article, nor it is a relative article. Then, I will trace the origins of HRCs in Cappadocian/Pontic and Pharasiot in Early Medieval Greek and reveal that HRCs in Cappadocian/Pontic are successors of an already existing prenominal HRC structure with ‘relative articles’ but are by no means identical to this structure today. In Pharasiot, on the other hand, the ‘tu’ morpheme introducing HRCs is historically bimorphemic, composed of an external determiner from the neuter set (t-) and an invariant complementizer (u) that was employed to introduce HRCs. The morphological merger of these two yielded the prenominal HRCs in Pharasiot, which are by hypothesis of matching type. Tests applied on modern-day Pharasiot HRCs support the idea that these prenominal HRCs are indeed matching HRCs. On the other hand, the newly emerged postnominal HRCs, I argue, emerged due to pattern borrowing from Modern Greek and to identification of ‘tu’ with the Modern Greek invariant relativizer ‘pu’. This is witnessed by the fact that postnominal HRCs in Pharasiot are raising HRCs, precisely as Modern Greek HRCs with the invariant complementizer ‘pu’ (and without resumptives). In effect then, in modern-day Pharasiot, prenominal and postnominal HRCs differ not only in terms of their linear word order but also in terms of their internal structure.

All in all, the study casts serious doubts on the long-standing assumptions that (i) HRCs in the dialects are prenominal (solely) due to the Turkish influence exerted on them fr almost a millennium, and that (ii) Pharasiot is a sub-variety of Pontic or Cappadocian.

Posted in Linguistics | Leave a comment