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LINGUIST List 19.2198

Wed Jul 09 2008

Diss: Syntax: Koskinen: 'Features and Categories: Non-finite ...'

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        1.    Paivi Koskinen, Features and Categories: Non-finite constructions in Finnish


Message 1: Features and Categories: Non-finite constructions in Finnish
Date: 09-Jul-2008
From: Paivi Koskinen <Paivi.Koskinenkwantlen.ca>
Subject: Features and Categories: Non-finite constructions in Finnish
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Institution: University of Toronto
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1998

Author: Paivi Koskinen

Dissertation Title: Features and Categories: Non-finite constructions in Finnish

Dissertation URL: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~twpl/dissertations.htm#top

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Subject Language(s): Finnish (fin)

Dissertation Director:
Elizabeth Cowper
Diane Massam
Yves Roberge
Ron Smythe
Anders Holmberg

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis explores the inventory of syntactic features that drives
Finnish word order. It focuses on several non-finite constructions that
manifest categorially inconsistent morpho-syntactic properties. The central
assumption underlying this research is that such incongruities result from
alternative combinations of cross-linguistically common syntactic features
rather than from the presence of rare and exceptional functional
categories. My main proposal is that lexical and functional syntactic
features may combine to produce hybrid forms. I examine the nature of such
feature complexes in different clause types in Finnish: main, finite and
non-finite embedded and relative, and infinitival clauses. This
feature-based approach resolves problems in categorizing morphemes whose
syntactic category affiliation has traditionally been difficult to
determine. In most languages there are lexical elements that manifest
morpho-syntactic properties associated with more than one lexical category
as well as functional inflectional morphemes (e.g. participles,
infinitives, modals). I analyze the Finnish forms as containing a hybrid
category: a lexical feature ([N, V] or [N]) accounts for their nominal
qualities, while a functional feature [Tense] explains their verbal and
temporal characteristics. Consequently, I argue that changes in syntactic
category take place not only through morphological derivation, but also
within the syntactic component. This is possible under a view of
morphological derivation as vocabulary insertion based on the syntactic
feature matrices that surface at the end of the computational component.
The thesis is organized according to the traditional division of Finnish
verb-based forms into finite, participial and infinitival. Chapter 2 sets
the basis for contrasting finite and non-finite forms by providing an
account of the syntactic feature content of main clause structure. This
chapter also presents a structural analysis of the seemingly
non-configurational word order of Finnish. Chapters 3 and 4 examine the
present and past participle morphemes, and the infinitival morphemes -ta,
-de and -ma. Each suffix occurs in several distinct constructions. My
investigation identifies the syntactic features that produce the
categorially incongruous properties of the forms, and provides a maximally
unified account of each morpheme. Furthermore, the theoretical framework
laid out in this thesis demarcates a research program for further study of
similar elements in other languages.



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