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LINGUIST List 17.1774

Mon Jun 12 2006

Diss: Syntax: Henderson: 'The Syntax and Typology of Bantu Relative...'

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        1.    Brent Henderson, The Syntax and Typology of Bantu Relative Clauses

Message 1: The Syntax and Typology of Bantu Relative Clauses
Date: 12-Jun-2006
From: Brent Henderson <bhendrsnuiuc.edu>
Subject: The Syntax and Typology of Bantu Relative Clauses

Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2006

Author: Brent Mykel Henderson

Dissertation Title: The Syntax and Typology of Bantu Relative Clauses

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Language Family(ies): Bantu

Dissertation Director:
Karlos Arregi
Elabbas Benmamoun
Cedric Boeckx
Eyamba Bokamba
James Yoon

Dissertation Abstract:

The goal of this thesis is to examine and explain commonalities and
differences found across complementizer-type relative clauses in the Bantu
languages, focusing on strong correlations between agreement and other
points of variation. The facts I discuss concern co-variations between
agreement in the C-T domain and subject-verb inversion, object agreement
and resumption, and complementizer agreement and resumption in object
relative clauses. I observe the following two sets of generalizations:

1.Agreement in the C-T domain
(i)Relatives that display agreement between the subject and verb as well as
the relativized NP and complementizer sometimes display inversion
(ii)Relatives that display agreement only between the subject and verb
never display inversion.
(iii)Relatives that display agreement only between the verb and relativized
NP always display inversion.

2.Agreement in the vP domain
(i)Languages without object agreement do not display resumption in simple
object relatives.
(ii)Languages with object agreement do not display resumption in simple
object relatives if they have an agreeing complementizer.

Based on these correlations, I argue for an understanding of agreement
within the probe-goal system in which syntactic structure is built
derivationally, only unvalued features are probes, probes are unrestricted
with regard to the direction of probing, and the locality of syntactic
relations is a representational notion relevant only at the end of the
derivation. Within this system, I argue that the correlations in (1) are
derived by two simple morphological parameters that define the location of
features in the functional heads of clause structure. In particular, I
argue that complementizers may reside in Force or in Fin while inflectional
features may reside in Fin or in T. With regard to the correlations in (2),
I argue that correlations between agreement and resumption result from
differing derivational strategies languages employ to avoid violating
general conditions on chain formation. Languages discussed include Swahili,
Kirundi, Dzamba, Lingala, Zulu, Swati, Chichewa, Shona, Sesotho, and others.

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