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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Morpho-Syntax of the Germanic Noun Phrase: Determiners MOVE into the Determiner Phrase Add Dissertation
Author: Dorian Roehrs Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Indiana University Bloomington
Completed in: 2006
Linguistic Subfield(s): Morphology; Semantics; Syntax;
Language Family(ies): Germanic
Director(s): Steven Franks
KarI Gade
Željko Bošković
Yoshihisa Kitagawa
Rex Sprouse

Abstract: Clausal auxiliaries exhibit agreement and undergo movement. This
dissertation proposes that determiners are nominal auxiliaries. Also
showing agreement, demonstratives and (in-)definite articles are argued to
be base-generated in an article phrase (artP) above the theta domain of
nouns and below adjectives, and subsequently undergo movement to the
determiner phrase (DP) to value features on D. Three main arguments are
provided for this proposal.

Chapter 2 discusses the syntactic distribution of the definite article in
the Scandinavian languages from a diachronic and synchronic point of view.
Interpreting adjectives as interveners for long-distance agreement between
DP and artP, languages are proposed to vary in the way they circumvent this
blocking effect. While Old Icelandic and Danish move the determiner to the
left periphery overtly, (common) Modern Icelandic does so covertly. After
demonstrating that the two determiners in Faroese, Norwegian, and Swedish
have different semantic import, I propose that these languages move one
part of their determiner to the left while stranding the other in situ.

Chapter 3 deals with the semantic distribution of the determiner.
Interpreting determiners as scope-bearing elements, I propose that, when
modifiers are in their scope, they are restrictive in interpretation, and,
when not, they are non-restrictive. Specifically, assuming movement of the
determiner, the restrictive reading of adjectives is explained by
interpreting the determiner in its derived position and the non-restrictive
reading follows from interpreting the determiner in its base-position.

Chapter 4 considers some morphological consequences of this proposal for
German. Concentrating on the weak/strong alternation of adjective endings,
I propose that the strong ending is licensed on the highest (appropriate)
element in the DP at the time the noun phrase is merged into the clause.
The weak ending is argued to be a default option. Exceptions to this
pattern follow from the assumption that certain determiners may move to the
DP at different times. This discussion is then extended to morphological
alternations in split NPs and pronominal DPs.

More generally, making the assumption that determiners are nominal
auxiliaries that move to the left, these syntactic, semantic, and
morphological phenomena, although apparently unrelated, find a uniform account.