Working Papers in Linguistics - 2006

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    Polysemy Deriving from Possessor Ascension
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2006-11-01) Hwang, Kyuseek
    This paper investigates a construction in Korean which is ambiguous between a causative and a passive interpretation. I propose that such ambiguous sentences are polysemous and the polysemy is derived from A-movement, in particular, so-called possessor ascension, in agreement with Whitman and Han 1988 and Kim and Pires 2002. The proposed “possessor ascension” is justified from the Minimalist Program (MP) perspective. Specifically, I propose that the motivation of the possessor ascension is EPP (Extended Projection Principle) on T and solve several apparent problems by appealing to Equidistance due to V-to-T movement and the Phase Impenetrability Constraint (PIC) based on the Phase model (Chomsky 2005, 2001, 2000).
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    Hawaiian Relative Clause Structure
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2006-05-01) Baker, Christopher M.
    The purpose of this paper is to explore the formal aspects of Hawaiian relative clause structure. This includes a description of the formal structure of relative clauses in Hawaiian, including gap-versus-pronoun strategy in relativization and constituency tests for what I term as genitive subjects in Hawaiian relative clauses.
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    An Analysis of Problematic Relative Clauses in the Young Variety of Oirat (Based on Kalmyk and Xinjiang Oirat)
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2006-04-01) Indjieva, Elena
    With respect to the range of permissible relative clauses, there are two varieties of Oirat: Young and Old.1 There are certain types of relative clauses that are assessed as grammatical by the Old speakers of Oirat, while the Young speakers consider them marginally grammatical or ungrammatical. I conclude that this distinction between the two varieties of Oirat is caused by the two possible interpretations of constructions with two semantically equivalent NPs in the nominative case (henceforth double NomNP constructions). In Young Oirat, the double Nom constructions are interpreted as equatives, which in the case of relatives with the relativized in/direct object or oblique are garden–path structures2 that forestall the intended interpretation. As a result, in Young Oirat (unlike the Old Oirat), a whole range of relatives with the relativized in/direct object or oblique are misinterpreted or considered to be ungrammatical. Since double NomNP constructions occur mostly in relatives with relativized indirect objects, this type of relative is the most problematic in Young Oirat. Considering that relativized obliques and genitives are much less problematic, it appears that Young Oirat violates the accessibility hierarchy for relativization proposed by Keenan and Comrie.3 However, my analysis concludes that Young Oirat is in compliance with the hierarchy as the factor that inhibits the relativization of some relatives is extraneous. I conclude that there are two main reasons for the equative interpretation of the double NomNP constructions in Young Oirat: (1) emergence of an equative copula, and (2) the loss of the extended property of the genitive case.
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    Right-Dislocation by Japanese-Speaking Children: A Preliminary Analysis
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2006-03-01) Nomura, Jun
    Japanese is a pro-drop, SOV language. However, in casual speech, there occur non-canonical orders in which some element appears to be right-dislocated (RD; e.g., (S)VO, (O)VS, etc.). This study was proposes an emergence order of different types of RD in Japanese through the analysis of two Japanese-speaking children’s right-dislocated utterances. The analysis makes use of several features (Type of Right-Dislocated Element, Repetition, Separation, Newness, and Joint Attention) and conservative criteria to classify right-dislocated utterances into different types. The results show that although the two children are quite different in RD rates, they start to use different types of RD in the same order: grammaticalized demonstratives > pragmatic repair > sophisticated pragmatics > grammatical repair. The results imply that (i) RD can be an indicator of the development of children’s pragmatic and grammatical awareness, and (ii) children’s pragmatic awareness might be one driving force for grammatical development. Possible explanations for the observed individual differences are also considered.
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    Acquisition of the Scope Interaction between Numeral Quantifiers and Negation in Korean: A Descriptive Study on Production and Comprehension
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2006-03-01) Kwak, Hye-Young
    This study explores the scope interaction between numeral quantifiers and negation in Korean. Several studies have investigated children’s interpretation of sentences containing numeral quantifiers and negation in languages other than Korean (Lidz and Musolino 2002, Su 2003, among others). In an attempt to fill a gap in the literature, this study investigates Korean-speaking children’s production and comprehension of sentences containing numeral quantifiers and negation. Twenty-nine Korean-speaking children aged four to five and a control group of twenty-six native Korean speakers participated in the production experiment, which involved an elicited production task (Crain and Thornton 1998, McDaniel, McKee, and Cairns 1998). The results revealed that the children and the control group produced few negative sentences containing numerals, preferring instead to use the corresponding affirmative sentences. The same subjects along with additional fourteen adult controls participated in the comprehension experiment, which involved a Truth-Value Judgment Task (Crain and Thornton 1998). The results showed that both the children and the control group tended to give judgments that were consistent with the quantifier wide scope interpretation of the test sentence. However, the control group did select the negation wide scope interpretation more frequently than the children. I discuss several factors that might have contributed to these results, including pragmatic factors, processing, and distributional patterns of numeral quantifiers and negation in the input.
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    On Tough Constructions in French
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2006-02-01) Guerin, Valerie
    This working paper examines tough predication in French. Two different morphemes are used to introduce the infinitival clause that follows a tough predicate. When the matrix subject is the expletive il ‘it’, the infinitival is introduced by de, while tough constructions with NP subject are marked by à. This paper provides evidence that these morphological differences reflect syntactic differences. Using Generative Syntax as a framework, I show that de is a complementizer subcategorizing for an IP[-fin] and argue that à is the head of vP, fulfilling the same role as –en in passive constructions.