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LINGUIST List 20.80

Fri Jan 09 2009

Diss: Syntax: O'Connor: 'On the Syntax and Interpretation of ...'

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        1.    Kathleen O'Connor, On the Syntax and Interpretation of Apposition to Nominal Antecedents

Message 1: On the Syntax and Interpretation of Apposition to Nominal Antecedents
Date: 08-Jan-2009
From: Kathleen O'Connor <kaoconnogmail.com>
Subject: On the Syntax and Interpretation of Apposition to Nominal Antecedents
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Institution: Université Charles-de-Gaulle - Lille 3
Program: PhD in Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Kathleen M. O'Connor

Dissertation Title: On the Syntax and Interpretation of Apposition to Nominal Antecedents

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Dissertation Director:
Liliane Haegeman

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis proposes an account of apposition in English within the theory
of generative grammar. Apposition is defined as the non-restrictive
post-modification of an NP (the antecedent) by an AP, DP or PP (the
appositive). The study is divided into two categories: internal syntax and
external syntax. The internal syntax deals with the syntax of the
appositive without reference to the clause containing its antecedent,
whereas the external syntax examines the link between the appositive and
its host clause.

With respect to the internal syntax, a study of the different classes of
adverbs that occur in appositives demonstrates that they contain an
extensive hierarchy of functional projections associated with the area
located above IP. The presence of conjunctions and modal adverbs provides
evidence that appositives also have a CP layer that includes the projection
SubP, the site that hosts conjunctions, and the projection ForceP,
associated with illocutionary force. Attention is then given to nominal
projections within the appositive, particularly the potential for a subject
and for quantifiers. It is proposed that appositives contain a predication
relation with a null argument. Certain quantifiers appear to float from
this subject, whereas others are assumed to be located in subject position.

It is then suggested that the link between the appositive and its host
clause is one of specifying coordination. This relationship is governed by
a functional projection, &:P, that hosts the antecedent in its specifier
and a null DP in its complement. The null DP takes the CP of the antecedent
as its complement. The null subject of the appositive has a [+wh] feature
that requires movement to CP for feature checking. Under this assumption,
an appositive is essentially a non-finite, non-restrictive relative clause.

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