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LINGUIST List 19.2286

Fri Jul 18 2008

Diss: Ling Theories/Morphology/Semantics/Syntax: Sato: 'Minimalist ...'

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        1.    Yosuke Sato, Minimalist Interfaces: Selected issues in Indonesian and Javanese


Message 1: Minimalist Interfaces: Selected issues in Indonesian and Javanese
Date: 18-Jul-2008
From: Yosuke Sato <yosukesemail.arizona.edu>
Subject: Minimalist Interfaces: Selected issues in Indonesian and Javanese
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Institution: University of Arizona
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Yosuke Sato

Dissertation Title: Minimalist Interfaces: Selected issues in Indonesian and Javanese

Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
                            Morphology
                            Semantics
                            Syntax

Subject Language(s): Indonesian (ind)
                            Javanese (jav)

Dissertation Director:
Heidi Harley

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation is a theoretical investigation of the Thesis of
Minimalist Interfaces, namely, that syntax-external linguistic interfaces
play a much more critical role in manipulating syntactic objects to make
them legible to the language-independent articulatory and conceptual
systems than is currently assumed in recent minimalist inquiry. The core
theme of this thesis is that syntax is not entirely crash-proof but could
make a variety of derivational mistakes; phonological and semantic
interfaces conduct a handful of independent domain-specific operations in
an attempt to legitimize otherwise illicit syntactic objects, if any, for
the purposes of legibility at the language-independent systems. Evidence is
provided that the syntax-external linguistic interfaces use whatever
resources they can to repair/undo certain 'imperfections' created by syntax
but only within the range of options made available by the universal
principles of syntax in tandem with the language-particular parameter values.

This dissertation explores some of the ramifications and empirical
consequences of the thesis based on the comprehensive description of a
sizable portion of a sizable portion of the grammar of Indonesian and
Javanese collected by my fieldwork with native Indonesian and Javanese
consultants. Phenomena discussed here include the distribution of active
voice morphology, P-stranding under sluicing, the denotation and
morphosyntax of bare nominals, wh-in-situ questions, and reduplication
asymmetries between nominal and verbal derivational affixes. These diverse
ranges of phenomena in the two languages are analyzed in depth to provide
converging evidence that the Minimalist Interface Thesis yields a deep
understanding of the way the syntax interacts with the language-dependent
interfaces responsible for phonological and semantic interpretation. The
investigation conducted here necessiates serious reconsideration of the
commonly held view of linguistic interfaces as passive, merely ornamental
components of natural language grammar rules by the universal law of syntax.



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