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LINGUIST List 16.2209

Tue Jul 19 2005

Diss: Syntax/Morphology: Ferrari: 'A Syntactic ...'

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        1.    Franca Ferrari, A Syntactic Analysis of the Nominal Systems of Italian and Luganda: How nouns can be formed in the syntax


Message 1: A Syntactic Analysis of the Nominal Systems of Italian and Luganda: How nouns can be formed in the syntax
Date: 18-Jul-2005
From: Franca Ferrari <ff244nyu.edu>
Subject: A Syntactic Analysis of the Nominal Systems of Italian and Luganda: How nouns can be formed in the syntax


Institution: New York University
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Franca Ferrari

Dissertation Title: A Syntactic Analysis of the Nominal Systems of Italian and Luganda: How nouns can be formed in the syntax

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
                            Syntax

Subject Language(s): Italian (ITN)
                            Ganda (LAP)
Language Family(ies): Bantu
                            Romance

Dissertation Director:
Paul Elbourne
Richard Kayne

Dissertation Abstract:

In this dissertation, I propose a comparative syntactic analysis of the
Italian and Luganda nominal system. My main goal is to explore the
possibilities of syntax as a noun formation device arguing that in both
languages simple, derived and VN compound nouns are derivable in the syntax
via Merger and Move.

Under the assumption that the distinction between gender and noun class
features is only a formal one (Corbett 1991), the theoretical premise for a
syntactic analysis of nouns is based on a revised interpretation and
redefinition of the feature gender/class. An analysis of Italian and
Luganda nominals reveals that the feature gender/class, in addition to its
inflectional role in triggering agreement, has a marked derivational
nature. Gender/class morphemes are used to derive nouns from non-nominal
stems. They are types of derivational heads marked for the lexical feature
[n] that project in the syntax in virtue of their inflectional nature. I
therefore, argue that gender/class projects as a [n] feature and not as
GenderP/ClassP as previously assumed.

Syntactically, I argue that noun formation results from the Merger of a [n]
feature with an XP, where XP can be either a nominal, adjectival or verbal
stem, or a VP, or an AspP, or a VoiceP. The Merger of [n] with one of the
possible XPs is sufficient for deriving all noun types in both languages.

The justification for Move as part of the noun formation process stems from
the symmetric constituent orders of Italian and Luganda nominals. Luganda
nouns have an affix-stem order with an affixal noun class morpheme, whereas
Italian nouns have a stem-affix order with an affixal gender/number.
Applying Kayne's LCA (1994) to all levels of linguistic representation, I
argue that the Luganda affix-stem order is the basic underlying order in
nominals; whereas Move necessarily intervenes to derive the Italian
stem-affix order.

Finally, the analysis shows that a syntactic approach to noun formation
processes allows accounting uniformly for different nominal systems in
unrelated language families.





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