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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54780
Doc. No:TL24734
Call number:‭NR61822‬
Main Entry:Tobin R. Skinner
Title & Author:Investigations of downward movementTobin R. Skinner
College:McGill University (Canada)
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:330
Abstract:Under a non-lexicalist view of word formation, such as Distributed Morphology (Halle and Marantz 1993), morphemes combine to form complex words during or after—but not before—narrow syntactic derivation. Such a model inevitably requires the availability of downward transformations, e.g. affix-hopping. This thesis provides a detailed investigation into such downward movements. Whereas previous analyses have relegated downward movements to a position outside of core derivational processes (e.g. Chomsky 1981 and, to a lesser extent, Embick and Noyer 2001), I argue that certain downward movements, namely head-to-head Lowering, form part of the central architecture of syntactic derivation and are motivated by fundamental properties of that architecture, such as phase impenetrability (Chomsky 2001). Though this thesis addresses certain properties of other types of apparent downward movement (e.g. morpho-phonological merger; i.e. Local Dislocation), it focuses primarily on the defining characteristics of head-to-head Lowering. Central to this investigation is the observation that Lowering is a highly syntactic operation. In Chapter 2, I argue that a Lowering head may freely target any intermediate syntactic position of the complex head of its complement, thus deriving several cases of morphological optionality; e.g. reduplicative variability in Tagalog and Ndebele and the variable positions of agreement markers in Turkish. Chapter 3 addresses tense-hopping, a canonical case of downward movement. I argue that certain asymmetries between English and Swedish provide evidence that these two languages derive their respective tense-hopping patterns via different means. Namely, Swedish tense-hopping is a case of Lowering, whereas English tense-hopping results from Local Dislocation (following Ochi 1999). Additionally, I propose a detailed theory of the Lowering vs. Raising distinction. Based in the observation that Lowering only ever takes place across a phase boundary, I posit a Phase Head Impenetrability Condition (PHIC), under which features embedded in a complex phase head become inaccessible as a result of Spell-out. Lowering occurs as a last resort feature-checking operation when the next highest head targets one of these embedded features; Raising occurs otherwise. I address several repercussions of this analysis, and in Chapter 4 I show that the PHIC allows for a straightforward account of the aux-raising vs. tense-hopping asymmetry in English. More precisely, I claim that auxiliary verbs are merged in the same phase as finite tense, and so the PHIC does not apply between these two elements, unlike with main verbs. The analyses presented in this thesis all share a common goal: to show that downward movements can and should be incorporated into core linguistic theory.
Subject:Language, literature and linguistics; Downward movement; Linguistics; 0290:Linguistics
Added Entry:McGill University (Canada)