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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: Transitivité et marquage d’objet différentiel Add Dissertation
Author: Ross Bilous Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Toronto, Department of French Studies
Completed in: 2011
Linguistic Subfield(s): Linguistic Theories;
Director(s): Yves Roberge

Abstract: This thesis deals with direct object nouns case-marked differentially.
According to the commonly assumed generalization nouns marked with ACC case
are prototypical objects representing high transitivity, whereas nouns
marked with non-accusative cases are not. However, such a view ignores the
possibility of a much finer distinction and fails to account for empirical
data from languages with rich case morphology, such as Ukrainian. Given the
complexity of the phenomenon under study the main objective of our
investigation is to account exhaustively for all possible instances of
non-accusative case marking and case alternations on direct objects in
Ukrainian trying to classify and analyze the data by specifying the factors
that condition the distinction ‘accusative versus non-accusative case
marking’ and by integrating the phenomenon of differential object marking
(DOM) into a formal model. We present DOM as a phenomenon that, together
with the phenomenon of unaccusativity, can be subsumed under a broader
concept of non-accusativity (defined as inability of verbs to assign ACC
case). In this context we show that in Ukrainian and French morphosyntactic
case realization has semantic underpinnings and that issues related to case
valuation emanate from the intersection of different phenomena – DOM and
nominal incorporation, DOM and verb typology, DOM and the process of
(de)transitivization, and so on. However, the (morphosyntactic) visibility
of those points of intersection varies from one language to another.

Generativist distinction between syntactic (abstract) and morphological
cases as well as the functionalist idea that case markings can be
characterized as morphemes having different functional applications
constitute the basis of our analysis of data. Using the typological views
of these two approaches on the category of case as guidelines in our
classification of collected data, we resort to minimalist formalism. Case
is treated as an uninterpretable feature and a clear distinction is drawn
between two types of case valuation – case checking and case assignment.
Structural cases are checked during verb-raising and inherent (lexical)
cases (among which we find predicate and default cases) are assigned either
by a weak (or defective) v or by (an overt or null) preposition (P) in situ.