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LINGUIST List 17.164

Wed Jan 18 2006

Diss: Syntax: Cagri: 'Minimality and Turkish Relativ...'

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        1.    Ilhan Cagri, Minimality and Turkish Relative Clauses


Message 1: Minimality and Turkish Relative Clauses
Date: 17-Jan-2006
From: Ilhan Cagri <ilhanumd.edu>
Subject: Minimality and Turkish Relative Clauses


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

Author: Ilhan Merih Cagri

Dissertation Title: Minimality and Turkish Relative Clauses

Dissertation URL: http://www.freewebs.com/ilhan/Dissertation_Cagri.pdf

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Dissertation Director:
Norbert Hornstein
Howard Lasnik
Paul M. Pietroski

Dissertation Abstract:

Turkish relative clauses display a subject/non-subject asymmetry. The
subject relative (SR) is licensed for relativization from [Spec, TP].
Whereas the non-subject relative (NSR) is never acceptable for subject
relativization, the SR is licensed in clauses where there is no external
argument, and when relativizing a non-subject in clauses where the subject
is non-specific. Within the framework of the Minimalist Program, Turkish
RCs are explained in terms of satisfaction of the EPP of T by a D feature
and Minimality effects. As long as no nominal expression intervenes between
the relative head and [Spec, TP], the SR is licensed. The SR, then, can be
used as a diagnostic for movement through TP. Minimality effects are
incurred when there is an intervening nominal between T° and the RC head,
and the SR becomes unacceptable. The proposal is that in Turkish, specific
nominals, +human nominals, and Experiencers of psych verbs all contain a DP
projection. Non-specifics are NPs which cannot satisfy the EPP. NP subjects
cannot move to [Spec, TP], and thus permit the SR form for relativization
of non-subjects. NPs create intervention effects, as does PRO, with the
exception of subject control PRO which is perhaps a trace of movement.
Scrambling ameliorates intervention effects. Once scrambled, expressions
are frozen but remain porous for movement of a subconstituent. Differences
between inherent and structural Case are suggested with structural case
assignment limited to DPs and in a Spec-Head configuration. Structurally
case-marked DPs are barred from moving to case-assigning positions unless
there is a morphological match. Further proposals include structures for
verb classes, including Psych verbs, and structures for infinitivals and
+human DPs. Contrastive focus is briefly addressed. Though superficially
complex, relativization in Turkish can be accounted for with a minimum of
technology. The suggestions here have implications for the theory of the
EPP, Case, its assignment and interface conditions, feature satisfaction,
and movement.





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