LINGUIST List 13.893

Mon Apr 1 2002

Diss: Syntax: Pereltsvaig "Intra-Clausal Relations"

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  1. asya.pereltsvaig, Syntax: Pereltsvaig "On the Nature of Intra-Clausal Relations"

Message 1: Syntax: Pereltsvaig "On the Nature of Intra-Clausal Relations"

Date: Mon, 01 Apr 2002 07:03:51 +0000
From: asya.pereltsvaig <>
Subject: Syntax: Pereltsvaig "On the Nature of Intra-Clausal Relations"

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: McGill University
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2001

Author: Asya Pereltsvaig 

Dissertation Title: 
On the Nature of Intra-Clausal Relations: A Study of Copular Sentences
in Russian and Italian

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field: Syntax 
Subject Language: Russian 

Dissertation Director 1: Lisa DeMena Travis 

Dissertation Abstract: 

This dissertation investigates intra-clausal relations, namely, the
relations that obtain between the elements in a clause. This
investigation is based on a detailed study of copular sentences in
Russian and Italian. In particular, three types of intra-clausal
relations are investigated here: phrase-structural relations, thematic
relations, and case relations.

With respect to phrase-structural relations, it is argued that not all
syntactic structures are asymmetrical. Rather, it is proposed that
under certain conditions (when the two input phrases have the same
features) Merge will result in a symmetrical structure. This
requirement for matching features leads to a more parsimonious
analysis of equative sentences where the interpretation derives
directly from the syntactic structure, without postulating a special
"identity copula". 

As for thematic relations, it is claimed that there is no one-to-one
correspondence between thematic positions and structural positions
(contra the strong version of UTAH, Baker 1988). Instead, a more
flexible theory of thematic relations is proposed. It is also proposed
that theta-assignment is not a necessary condition for DP
interpretation. Rather, a DP can be interpreted if it establishes a
certain relationship with another theta-marked DP. This analysis
extends to Left Dislocation, Pronoun Doubling and sound

Finally, case relations are said to be tied to thematic relations. A
version of the Visibility Condition is thus argued for. It is
maintained that non-argument DPs (namely, those that are merged as
neither complements nor specifiers of a lexical head) need not be
case-marked in syntax at all and appear with the morphological default
(i.e., nominative) marking. The alternative "agreement in case"
analysis of NOM-NOM sentences is argued against; various conceptual
and empirical problems for this analysis are identified and

The analysis developed in this dissertation accounts for a number of
properties of copular sentences, including their interpretation,
case-marking patterns, and such syntactic properties as extraction,
inversion, binding possibilities and unaccusativity diagnostics.
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