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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: Reflexive Clitics in the Slavic and Romance Languages: A comparative view from an antipassive perspective Add Dissertation
Author: Lucie Medova Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Princeton University, Linguistic
Completed in: 2009
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax;

Abstract: In this work, I offer a unified analysis of all the constructions that
involve a reflexive clitic SE in Slavic and Romance languages. Next to
canonical constructions, in which the reflexive clitic semantically
identifies the two arguments of a transitive verb, cf. John SE wash means
John washes himself, there are constructions in which it is not possible to
identify the arguments in this way, cf. anticausatives as The glass SE
broke does not entail that the glass broke itself, it just broke.
Inherently reflexive verbs do not exist without the reflexive clitic,
certain prefixes cause the morpheme SE to appear in Slavic languages
ROZ-rain *(SE) with a certain Aktionsart shift. Finally, there are
impersonals and middles, in which the reflexive clitic SE seems to play the
role of an unspecified human subject Cars SE sell means Cars are sold (by
people)/People sell cars.

The thesis is built in two steps. First, I consider possible derivations of
the constructions with the reflexive clitic SE in Slavic and Romance and
following Kayne (1986) and Alboiu et. al (2004) I propose that all the
constructions are derived by movement: the argument that winds up as NOM
starts out within the VP shell and moves to the NOM position. SE, on this
view, is a morpheme that 'blocks' the argument from becoming a direct
object. This derivation is superior to the argument structure derivations
(as they face the problem of ECM constructions, cf. Marantz (1984)) and
derivations that connect the morpheme SE to the internal argument position
(they predict the SE constructions to be transitive, contrary to the facts).

Second, I claim that the reflexive clitic SE is an antipassive morpheme of
the sort known from the ergative languages. This connection is clearly
supported by the range of constructions that are created by the reflexive
clitic SE in Slavic and Romance languages on one hand and antipassive
morphemes in ergative languages on the other. In both language types, the
particular morpheme (very often) creates also anticausatives, constructions
with Aktionsart shift. I derive both antipassives and constructions with
the reflexive clitic SE in a parallel fashion within the Peeling Theory of
Case (Starke (2005), Starke (2006)).