LINGUIST List 21.3373

Sun Aug 22 2010

Diss: Syntax: Ghaniabadi: 'The Empty Noun Construction in Persian'

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        1.    Saeed Ghaniabadi, The Empty Noun Construction in Persian

Message 1: The Empty Noun Construction in Persian
Date: 20-Aug-2010
From: Saeed Ghaniabadi <>
Subject: The Empty Noun Construction in Persian
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Institution: University of Manitoba Program: Linguistics Department Dissertation Status: Completed Degree Date: 2010

Author: Saeed Ghaniabadi

Dissertation Title: The Empty Noun Construction in Persian

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Subject Language(s): Farsi, Western (pes) Language Family(ies): Indo-European
Dissertation Director:
Jila Ghomeshi David Embick H. C. Wolfart Kevin Russell
Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation explores, within the general framework of DistributedMorphology, the licensing conditions of empty nouns in Persian, a WesternIranian language, and the issues that arise within this context for thedistribution of plural marking and the insertion of the Ezafe vowel. Withrespect to the licensing of the empty noun, the proposal made in thisthesis is along the lines of those that link ellipsis to informationstructure (e.g. Rooth 1992a, 1992b; Gengel 2007, among others). It issuggested that the Empty Noun Construction (ENC) is derived through theinteraction between the following two information-structural features: (i)the E(llipsis)-feature, which ensures that the head noun is identical withits counterpart in the antecedent and specifies the head noun fornon-pronunciation; (ii) the F(ocus)-feature, which specifies the remnantmodifier as an element which is in some kind of contrastive relationshipwith its corresponding element in the antecedent. The interaction betweenthese two features is implemented in the syntax in a phase-based derivation.

Plural marking and Ezafe insertion in the ENC are accounted for within anarticulated derivational model of PF (Embick & Noyer 2001; Embick 2003 etseq.; Pak 2008). It is proposed that the displacement of the plural markerin the ENC is motivated by the non-pronunciation of the head noun and ishandled early in the PF derivation by Local Dislocation operation. AdoptingPak's (2008) model of syntax-phonology interface, the rule responsible forthe insertion of the Ezafe linker -e is argued to be a phonological rulethat applies at the Late-Linearization stage to connect [+N] heads to theirfollowing modifiers/complements.

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