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LINGUIST List 20.4323

Tue Dec 15 2009

Diss: Syntax: Ortega-Santos: 'Projecting Subjects in Spanish and...'

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        1.    Ivan Ortega-Santos, Projecting Subjects in Spanish and English

Message 1: Projecting Subjects in Spanish and English
Date: 14-Dec-2009
From: Ivan Ortega-Santos <rtgsntosmemphis.edu>
Subject: Projecting Subjects in Spanish and English
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Institution: University of Maryland
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Ivan Ortega-Santos

Dissertation Title: Projecting Subjects in Spanish and English

Dissertation URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1903/8182

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Dissertation Director:
Juan Uriagereka

Dissertation Abstract:

The focus of this dissertation is syntactic movement and its relationship
to surface semantics, morphology, and licensing relations in syntax, with
an emphasis on Spanish and English.

Chapter 2 argues that Herburger's (2000) Neo-Davidsonian approach to the
semantics of focus, as syntactically implemented by Uriagereka (2005),
allows for a unified treatment of new information focus and contrastive
focus (focus movement to the left periphery and in situ focus) in Spanish.
The diverse positions that the focused element can take in the sentence are
claimed to be determined by contextual anchoring mechanisms of Raposo and
Uriagereka (1995). This entails a remnant movement approach in cases of new
information focus in Spanish (Ordóñez 2000). It is suggested that these
processes take place covertly in English, contra Kayne (1998).

Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 focus on the relationship between syntactic
movement and surface semantics by looking at the syntax of preverbal
subject in Spanish and English, respectively. According to Chomsky (2001,
and subsequent work) and Uriagereka (2008) a.o., movement yields (at least)
scopal and discourserelated properties. Movement to Spec,TP in so-called
'flexible word order' languages, like Spanish (contra Alexiadou and
Anagnostopoulou 1998, a.o.), and in so-called 'strict' word order
languages, like English, provides the testing ground for this hypothesis.
It is argued here that both Spanish and English show surface semantics
effects correlating with movement into Spec,TP, in keeping with the idea
that syntactic movement has an effect on semantics.

Chapter 5 explores a number of challenges for the phase-based system
dispensing with grammatically significant Spec,H relations. It is proposed
here that under a mixed system adopting phases and Long Distance Agreement
and, crucially, a Multiple Spell-Out system (Uriagereka 1999), conceptual
arguments against Spec,H relations can be circumvented. This is shown to
solve a number of problems that the phase-based framework faces.

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