LINGUIST List 14.1907

Thu Jul 10 2003

Diss: Syntax/Farsi: Ghomeshi: 'Projection and...'

Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <>


  1. ghomeshi, Projection and Inflection:

Message 1: Projection and Inflection:

Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2003 11:09:39 +0000
From: ghomeshi <>
Subject: Projection and Inflection:

Institution: University of Toronto
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1996

Author: Jila Ghomeshi 

Dissertation Title: Projection and Inflection: A Study of Persian
Phrase Structure

Linguistic Field: Syntax

Subject Language: Farsi, Eastern (code: PRS)

Dissertation Director 1: Diane Massam

Dissertation Abstract: 

This thesis is based on the following pivotal assumptions about
morphology and syntax: (a) that monosemy is desirable in grammar; (b)
only inflectional and not derivational affixes can correspond to
syntactic projections; (c) projection is driven by the features borne
by lexical and functional categories; and (d) base-generated
X0-adjunction is possible in the syntax.

	Starting with the distinction between inflectional and
derivational affixes, the thesis is organized around the inflectional
affixes of Persian and the range of constructions they occur in.
First, in looking at the Ezafe vowel -e, it is argued that the
distribution of this vowel is best accounted for if nouns do not
project structure in Persian. This explains why no phrasal material
occurs below the DP (Determiner Phrase). It is proposed that
modifiers to the head noun occur in an X0-adjoined structure and that
the Ezafe vowel is inserted at PF to identify potentially
non-projecting heads as belonging to a single constituent.

	Turning to agreement in Persian, it is shown that the
differences in the distribution of the pronominal enclitics and the
agreement suffixes follow from morphological properties of these
affixes. For example, the fact that the enclitics can only cooccur
with null, definite, arguments while the subject agreement affixes can
appear with any noun phrase is accounted for by subcategorization and
case requirements of the affixes themselves. This analysis also
explains the fact that the enclitics must occur outside subject
agreement, even though they refer to the direct object. Further, the
proposal that the pronominal enclitics identify pro in an argument
position is shown to explain binding facts in Persian.

	Among the other inflectional morphemes considered in the
thesis is the marker -r� which is shown to case-mark
presupposed DPs in VP-adjoined position. It is argued that these DPs
are construed as VP-level topics and a licensing condition is given to
account for their occurrence. In general each of the
language-particular constructions in Persian are shown to be accounted
for by the morphological properties of the lexical items and
inflectional morphemes involved.
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue