It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
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This dissertation presents a model of lexical category determination based
on properties of argument structure. To start with, there are two types of
lexicons – functional and conceptual. Members of the conceptual lexicon are
category-less roots which encode concepts. For each concept its thematic
properties are specified in terms of q-features [±c] and [±m] forming
feature clusters. Each feature cluster corresponds to an argument of a
predicate that is conventionally saturated by merging a DP in the syntax.
Thematic properties of a concept determine whether it will merge in the
syntax as a noun, adjective or verb. Non-predicative concepts associated
with Æ arguments will be categorized as nouns, predicative concepts with
one argument as adjectives and predicative concepts with more than one
argument as verbs. Thematic properties (number of arguments) are rooted in
causal relations into which concepts enter: necessary/sufficient conditions
associated with a given concept are translated as q-feature clusters.
The proposed model presents an extension of the Theta system developed in
Reinhart (2000-2003). TS maintains the view that operations on argument
structure can take place both in the lexical and syntactic modules. This is
in stark contrast with an approach to argument structure entertained within
e.g. Distributed Morphology which strips the lexicon of all computational
powers. The dissertation, however, presents numerous arguments in support
of the computational lexicon.
This study is of interest to linguists concerned with lexical categories,
argument structure, morphological derivation and the interface between
lexicon and syntax. It is also of interest to scholars working on Turkic