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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 Role of AgrP in Non-finite Predication Add Dissertation
Author: Gréte Dalmi Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Eötvös Loránd University, Department of English Linguistics
Completed in: 2002
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax;
Director(s): Michal Brody

Abstract: This dissertation is a comparative syntactic study. Comparative syntax has developed from the so-called Principles & Parameters version of generative theory.

The main claims of this dissertation are:
1.Predication is a bi-unique monadic relation holding between the predicate and its thematically and aspectually most prominent argument (typically the subject) in a clause. A predicate can only be licensed by a single argument and an argument can license only a single predicate within the clause. In the VSO type of languages, which allow null subjects, it is the verbal agreement morphology that qualifies as the most prominent argument (cf. Alaxiadou & Anagnostopoulou 1998).
2.Finite and non-finite predication cannot be deduced from the presence or absence of tense marking, realized as T(ense)P. Likewise, TP alone cannot be made responsible for the nominative case of the subject or for the absence of it.
3. Predication relation must be licensed in finite, non-finite and small clauses alike. This is stated as the Predication Licensing Principle (PLP):

Predication Licensing Principle
Each predicate must license its [+pred] feature in spec-head or head-head configuration within the clause.

The locus of predication licensing is AgrP, the function projection responsible
for the subject-verb agreement features of the clause. Most typically, the subject is the noun phrase bearing the nominative case. Following Cardinaletti (1997), this dissertation assumes that there is a higher Agr1P right above the canonical Agr2P. This higher agreement projection serves to check the subject agreement features of non-nominative subjects. Checking again may take place in spec-head or head-head configuration.

Predication thus may be licensed on the left edge of the functional layer, either in the canonical Agr2P in the case of nominative subjects or in Agr2P in the case of non-nominative subjects. This is formulated as the Left Edge Condition

Left Edge Condition
C-domain T-domain V-domain

On the basis of this, the Revised PLP can be given as follows:

Revised Predication Licensing Principle (RPLP)
i. Each predicate must license its [+pred] feature in spec-head or head-head configuration clause-internally.
ii. Predication licensing takes place on the left edge of the functional layer (T-domain) in each clause.