LINGUIST List 15.2316

Mon Aug 16 2004

Diss: Syntax/Typology: Nguyen: 'The Structure...'

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  1. t.h.nguyen, The Structure of the Vietnamese Noun Phrase

Message 1: The Structure of the Vietnamese Noun Phrase

Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2004 14:59:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: t.h.nguyen <t.h.nguyenatt.net>
Subject: The Structure of the Vietnamese Noun Phrase

Institution: Boston University
Program: Graduate Program in Applied Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2004

Author: Tuong Hung Nguyen

Dissertation Title: The Structure of the Vietnamese Noun Phrase

Dissertation URL:
http://www.arts.mcgill.ca/programs/linguistics/projects/vietnamese/vgp/papers

Linguistic Field: Syntax, Typology 

Subject Language Family: Austro-Asiatic (code: AI), 
Austronesian (code: AN), Sino-Tibetan (code: ST)

Dissertation Director 1: Paul Hagstrom
Dissertation Director 2: Carol Neidle

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation is a study of the Vietnamese Noun Phrase from a
generative perspective. It provides an account of word order
possibilities within the Noun Phrase across several language families
of Southeast Asia, with a focus on Vietnamese. The proposal is that
the different word orders attested in Noun Phrases are derived by
applications of syntactic movement from a single underlying
Determiner Phrase (DP) structure. This proposal constitutes a
significant departure from prior analyses of Vietnamese and other
related languages.

Chapter 1 provides background about Vietnamese and presents the facts
about word order within the Noun Phrase in Vietnamese. The evidence
reveals that there is a set of lexical articles in Vietnamese,
contrary to what has generally been assumed. Classifiers and measure
phrases, often treated as belonging to a single category in prior
literature, are shown to be fundamentally distinct. The properties of
the emphatic particle C�I (the "extra" C�I) are reviewed, revealing it
to be a focus marker.

Chapter 2 provides an overview of the theoretical assumptions adopted
in this dissertation and a summary of prior work on functional
projections in the DP across languages. In particular, four major
aspects of the Vietnamese noun phrase are considered: classifier
constructions, the distinction between classifiers and measure
phrases, the particle C�I, and the issue of lexical articles.

In Chapter 3, a structure is proposed for the Vietnamese DP, which is
argued to contain multiple functional projections, including
Classifier, Numeral, Demonstrative, and Determiner Phrases. An
analysis of the distribution of numerals, classifiers, and measure
phrases leads to a specific proposal about the structure in which they
occur: classifiers and measure phrases are base-generated in different
syntactic positions within the same phrase. The Demonstrative-final
word order within the Determiner Phrase is claimed to be the result of
leftward movement of a lower functional projection. A unified
analysis of the typology of DPs involving demonstratives and
demonstrative reinforcers across languages is presented.

In Chapter 4, the proposed analysis for Vietnamese is extended to
account for word order typology across four language groups of
Southeast Asia. It is demonstrated that the four attested word orders
internal to DP can be derived from a single underlying structure.
Minor parametric differences between languages govern the movement
possibilities within DP, giving rise to the differing linear word
order patterns. The dissertation concludes with a summary of findings
and directions for future research.
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