LINGUIST List 13.1653

Tue Jun 11 2002

Diss: Syntax: Aygen "Finiteness, Case..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. aygen, Syntax: Aygen "Finiteness, Case and Clausal Architecture"

Message 1: Syntax: Aygen "Finiteness, Case and Clausal Architecture"

Date: Sun, 09 Jun 2002 23:34:06 +0000
From: aygen <>
Subject: Syntax: Aygen "Finiteness, Case and Clausal Architecture"

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: Harvard University
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2002

Author: Nigar Gulsat Aygen 

Dissertation Title: 
Finiteness, Case and Clausal Architecture

Linguistic Field: Syntax

Subject Language: Turkish

Dissertation Director 1: C.-T. James Huang
Dissertation Director 2: Shigeru Miyagawa
Dissertation Director 3: Engin Sezer
Dissertation Director 4: Jonathan Nissenbaum

Dissertation Abstract: 

This dissertation explores the phenomenon of finiteness as Nominative
case and its significance for the theory of syntax. It questions the
relevance of Tense and Agreement as a Nominative Case licensing
feature within the Minimalist Framework. It discusses the syntactic
feature(s) that license nominative and non-nominative subject-case
particularly in Turkish clausal structures as well as other Turkic
languages, i.e., Tuvan and Kazakh.

Based on arguments particularly from Turkish data, it is proposed that
(a) the feature licensing nominative subject case in finite clauses
Turkish is a complex feature consisting of mood on Complementizer head
and epistemic modality on Finiteness head, and it marks finiteness in
Turkish, and possibly English, Catalan, European Portuguese, Japanese
and Italian; (b) the feature licensing Genitive or Accusative case on
subjects of non-finite (ECM) clauses is a feature on an external
functional head, which licenses; a nominal functional feature on
Determiner/Kase (D/K) licenses Genitive, a verbal functional feature
on v licenses Accusative. Agreement in Turkish marks the presence or
absence of a Mood feature on C in a clausal structure. It is also
argued that subject case and clausal agreement mark syntactic
(in)dependency of clauses in Turkish. This analysis predicts the lack
of either epistemic modality or mood feature within ECM
constructions. The major theoretical implication of this dissertation
is the disassociation of Case and Agreement features in case

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