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Review of  FASL 12: The Ottawa Meeting

Reviewer: Galina Dukova-Zheleva
Book Title: FASL 12: The Ottawa Meeting
Book Author: Olga P. Arnaudova Wayles Browne María Luisa Rivero Danijelo Stojanovic
Publisher: Michigan Slavic Publications
Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
Subject Language(s): Bulgarian
Language Family(ies): Slavic Subgroup
Issue Number: 17.649

Discuss this Review
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Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 17:31:00 -0500 (EST)
From: Galina Dukova-Zheleva
Subject: Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics #12: The Ottawa
Meeting 2003

EDITORS: Arnaudova, Olga; Browne, Wayles; Rivero, María Luisa;
Stojanović, Daniela
TITLE: Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics
SERIES: Number 12: The Ottawa Meeting 2003
PUBLISHER: Michigan Slavic Publications
YEAR: 2004

Galina Dukova-Zheleva, Linguistics Department, University of Ottawa,
Ottawa, ON, Canada


This volume is a collection of papers that are the outcome of the
Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics Conference held at the
University of Ottawa, May 9-11, 2003. The Ottawa meeting was the
first time this workshop was held in Canada. The volume contains 20
papers on different topics of Slavic Linguistics ranging over syntax,
semantics, phonology, morphology, psycholinguistics, and language

1. John Frederick Bailyn, The Case of Q
The author gives a unified analysis of the Genitive (Gen) in Russian,
reducing morphological case to syntactic features, inspired by
Pesetsky and Torrego (2001), who propose that 'Nominative case is
uT on D', and Svenonius (2001), who argues that Accusative case is
uninterpretable Inner Aspect. Bailyn's central ideas are: (i) each (non-
lexical) morphological case is the (uninterpretable) spell-out of a core
functional property, and (ii) there is a single, unique feature-based
source for all (non-lexical) cases. The author's object of interest are
non-lexical Genitives: Genitive of Negation, Partitive, Intensional, 'do
in quantity', Comparative, Adnominal, and Quantificational Genitive. All
of these Genitives are analyzed as uninterpretable quantifier features
on the noun (uQ on N), selected by a null Qº head in the QP. This
analysis fits a broader approach where Nom case is an instance of
[+T] checked/ valued/ probed by T, Acc case is [+Telic] related to
Aspect, Dative case is [+Modal] associated with C, Instrumental case
is [+øPred] connected to Pred, and Genitive is an instance of [+øQ]
selected by Q. The system thus accounts for the syntactic position of
all of the studied cases of Gen and their semantic interpretation as
well as the possible alternation between Gen and Acc, Nom or Instr

2. Joanna Blaszczak, Some Notes on Aspect, (Un)ergativity, and 'X
was not Y' in Polish
The focus of this paper are BE constructions in Polish. Blaszczak
argues that a distinction should be established between two BE
constructions with differing properties:
(i) Imperfective BE constructions (habitual BE and predicative BE),
with a nominative subject (Subj) regardless of the presence/absence
of Negation (Neg), and
(ii) Perfective BE constructions (existential-locative BE), where the
Subj is Nom in positive sentences, but Genitive (Gen) in negative

The contrast between the case marking of the Subj arguments and
the aspectual properties of the two types of BE explains the thematic
interpretation of Subj arguments. In (i), the Subj behaves as an Agent
(Subj is external argument in Spec,TP), while in (ii) the Subj patterns
with inner arguments. The Spec TP position in Neg sentences is
occupied by a dummy element (cf. Dziwirek, 1994), and the Gen NP
can never become the Subj of the clause, which results in
an 'impersonal flavor'. The author concludes that existential-locative
constructions display ergative/unaccusative syntax, and parallel
constructions from (split)-ergative languages like Hindi.

3. Robert D. Borsley, On the Periphery: Comparative Correlatives in
Polish and English
This paper analyses the comparative correlative constructions (CC
constructions) of the type: 'The more books I read, the more I
understand' and their counterparts in Polish (im X, tym Y). The author
argues that an analysis based on Minimalist assumptions could not
account neither for the parallel of these constructions with conditionals
(If I read more books, I understand more), nor for their similarity to null-
clause with the-clause structures (I understood more, the more I read).
However, a plausible account for the data can be achieved within
Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG) (Ginzburg and Sag,
2000). Borsley suggests that both im- and tym-clauses are A'-
movement/filler-gap clauses, and the tym-clause corresponds to both
a main the-clause and a null-clause in English. Further, Borsley
assumes that IM, TYM, and THE are required in their respective
phrases and are marked [CORREL im], [CORREL tym], and [CORREL
the]. The other constituents are [CORREL none], and the CORREL
feature is a nonlocal feature, thus if it appears on a conjunct it must
appear on all other conjuncts. In order to distinguish the CC
constructions from an ordinary comparative, Borsley suggests that the
comparative word has an [SPR<>] specification. This ensures that the
comparative does not combine with THE, or any other specifier.
Hence, only the HPSG analysis captures both the distinctive
properties of CC constructions and the properties they share with
other constructions. Furthermore this analysis overcomes problems
arising with the Minimalist approach.

4. Barbara Citko, Agreement Asymmetries in Coordinate Structures
The focus of this paper is first conjunct agreement. Citko argues
against the account proposed by Babyonyshev (1996): covert raising
of the phi-features of the first conjunct to T is not plausible since this
movement, just as quantifier raising, is subject to the Coordinate
Structure Constraint. She claims that the asymmetry observed in
Polish and other Slavic languages is due to the ambiguity of
coordinate DPs:
(i) Bare &P structure: [andP DP1 [and' and DP2] ] vs.
(ii) Plural Pronoun &P structure: [DP propl [andP DP1 [and' and
DP2] ] ]

In (i) the closest goal for the probe T is the first conjunct, hence the
result is singular agreement. In (ii) the closest goal is the plural pro,
which requires plural agreement. This account correctly predicts that
plural agreement is impossible with conjuncts containing quantifiers,
since a plural pro cannot appear in them. The analysis also explains
mandatory plural agreement with preverbal subjects without
quantifiers, since only elements first targeted by Agree can
subsequently undergo movement. Movement of the entire &P to
[Spec, TP] violates economy, as it involves superfluous pied-piping.

5. Steven Franks and Asya Pereltsvaig, Functional Categories in the
Nominal Domain
This paper examines the structure of nominals (NPs) in Russian.
Based on the assumption that particular functional categories in the
extended projection of any lexical head simply satisfy requirements
imposed by the formal properties of the head, the authors argue that
Russian NPs do not need to be fully projected as DPs. Examples of
bare nominals are non-agreeing QPs, Gen of Negation NPs, and QPs
selected by verbs with quantificational semantics. Furthermore,
Franks and Pereltsvaig argue that pronouns (traditionally assumed to
be DPs) are merged in Nº and can move to Dº (see Cardinaletti 1993,
Progovać, 1998, and Rutkowski, 2003 for similar proposals). This
movement accounts for the contrast in Russian between
nonreferential pronouns, which bear Instrumental case, and referential
pronouns, which have Nominative case. Finally, the authors tie
animacy, reflected in the use of Accusative, with referentiality, hence
presence of a DP. The paper supports Bošković's (1997) view that the
numeration consists of lexical, not functional categories.

6. Dorota Glowacka, Stem Alignment, Syllable Markedness and
Formation of Truncates in Polish
Glowacka examines the formation of truncates in Polish within
Optimality Theory. Two types of truncation are analyzed: (i) Type A
truncates, where the left edge of the stem coincides with the left edge
of the base stem, and (ii) Type B truncates, where the right edge of
the stem coincides with the right edge of the base stem. Following
McCarthy and Prince's (1995, 2001) proposal that the reduplicant and
the base must share an edge element, Glowacka claims that the same
can be proposed for Polish. Further, she argues that truncates in this
language are sensitive to stem edges. In addition, the author argues
against Rubach & Booij (1990), and shows that clusters of two (R)
esonants, two (O)bstruents, R+O, and O+R with a minimal sonority
distance are invariably split between the coda and the onset. Type B
truncates clearly show that the unmarked syllabification of medial CC
clusters in Polish is C.C.

7. Helen Goodluck, On Processing and Acquiring Relative Clauses
and Questions in Serbian /Croatian
Experiments run by Stojanović (1999) support the validity of the Active
Filter Strategy (AFS, Frazier and Flores d'Arcais, 1989) and the
Minimal Chain Principle (MCP, de Vincenzi, 1991) in the processing of
Serbian/Croatian (S-C) relatives. Two types of S-C relatives are
(i) those introduced by a relative pronoun, and
(ii) those introduced by a complementizer (što).

The results of the processing of ŠTO relatives strongly support the
need of AFS. Furthermore, Goodluck shows that the results of an
acquisition study of relative clauses (Stojanović and Goodluck, 1996)
support the conclusion based on Modern Irish and French that
children's grammar of relatives deviates from that of adults. The
deviations in those three languages are consistent with a binding
mechanism as a preferred form of relativization in adult language.
Finally, the author suggests that S-C may offer a better testing ground
than English for the hypothesis that binding chains are impaired in
Broca's aphasics.

8. Lydia Grebenyova, Interpretation of Slavic Multiple Wh-Questions
This paper argues against Bošković's (2001) proposal, based on S-C
and Bulgarian, that Single Pair (SP) readings are unavailable in
multiple wh-questions when there is a syntactic wh-movement to
Spec,CP in order to check the uninterpretable [+wh] feature of Cº. The
author argues that Bosković's analysis cannot account for Russian
data, where SP readings are unavailable, even though no wh-
movement to Spec, CP takes place (Stepanov, 1998). Grebenyova
suggests that the distinction between languages with or without SP
readings can be accounted for on the basis of lexical differences of
the interrogative (Q) morphemes. She proposes that S-C has two
lexical Q-morphemes which are available in both WH and Yes/No
questions. The first morpheme is always phonetically null, and evokes
a Pair List reading by movement to Cº from the base position of being
merged with the lower wh-phrase. The second one has two
allomorphs: [li] and a phonetically null [Ø] element which evokes an SP
reading by movement to C. Russian contrasts with S-C and never
allows an overt Li (Q-morpheme) in wh-questions. This accounts for
the lack of an SP reading in this language. Thus, the Russian
phenomena can be explained under this view by the absence of a Q-
morpheme of a particular kind.

9. Daniel Curie Hall, A Formal Approach to /v/: Evidence from Czech
and Slovak
This paper examines the phonological behavior of /v/ in Czech and
Slovak. The author argues against Padgett (2002) who analyzes /v/
as a 'narrow approximant' /ʋ̣/ [underdotted Latin small letter v with hook]. It is claimed that the data in Czech and Slovak can be
accounted for by using the laryngeal feature specification (Laryngeal
Voice (LV) and Contextual Voice (CV) systems) proposed for Russian
by Avery (1996). In Czech and Slovak, most of the obstruents are
specified as in an LV system, but the anomalous /v/ is unspecified as
in a CV system. The result is a mixed system, where the voiced
obstruents are specified as laryngeals and voiced, the unvoiced as
laryngeals, the sonorants as SV (sonorant or spontaneous voicing),
and /v/ is unspecified. Historically this system is derived from an LV
system where /*w/ became phonologically and phonetically less
sonorant, losing the SV feature without gaining a Laryngeal node in its
place. The lack of final devoicing in Slovak is prevented by Coda v-
Lenition, while in Czech /v/ is a target for final devoicing.

10. T. Florian Jaeger Topicality and Superiority in Bulgarian Wh-
The article focuses on the widely discussed problem of superiority in
multiple wh-questions. Jaeger analyzes new data from colloquial
Bulgarian that cannot be accounted by proposals to the effect that
effect that in a multiple wh-question the subject must always precede
the object (Rudin (1985), Richards (1997), Bošković (1998), etc). The
author focuses on cases containing clitic doubling (CD) where an
object wh-phrase that is CDed has to precede the subject wh-phrase.
Jaeger claims that CD signals topicalization and therefore the CDed
wh-phrase is the topic of the question. Furthermore, Jaeger argues
that the fronting of CDed wh-phrases is due to the same feature
(topicality) that causes topic-fronting in non-question clauses. As a
consequence, following the Topics First! Hypothesis, the order of the
wh-phrases is straightforward.

11. Edit Jakab, Counterfactuality and Conditional Inversion in Russian
in the Light of English
The paper investigates Conditional Inversion (CI) in Russian
imperatives that have a counterfactual (CF) conditional meaning.
Jakab relates such imperatives to the VI or inverted conditionals in
English studied by Iatridou and Embick (1994). Similarly to such
conditionals, Russian imperative CFs are restricted to past
counterfactuals. The author shows that inversion is possible only in
case certain CF morphology serving as an Exclusion Operator (EO) is
present. Another consequence of the presence of EO is the lack of
cancelability, since EO implies, but does not assert temporal
precedence. Furthermore, Jakab argues that in imperative CFs the
verb moves to the conditional complementizer to check its [irrealis]
feature, and the nominative on the subject is a default case marking.
Finally, in contrast to English, Russian lacks the future less vivid (FLV)
interpretation, due to its CF morphology. The Russian constructions
topic of the paper are too specific to occur with future-oriented
elements; their interpretation is restricted to the past.

12. Mila Tasseva-Kurktchieva, Possessiveness, Theta Roles, and the
Internal Structure of Bulgarian DPs
The paper gives a syntactic and semantic account of possessive
structures in Bulgarian. The author argues against the presence of a
Clitic Phrase containing possessive clitic pronominals (Franks, 1998,
Embrick and Noyer, 2001, Dimitrova-Vulchanova and Giusti, 1999).
Instead, she claims that different possessives correspond to different
syntactic structures, which reflect the possibility of different semantic
interpretations. Adjectival and genitive possessors originate in the
specifier of the nominal phrase (Spec,NP), and can move to the Spec
of the determiner phrase (Spec, DP). Possessors realized within a
prepositional phrase are generated as adjuncts to the NP.
Consequently, adjectival and PP possessors can express the thematic
roles of theme, possessor or agent. On the other hand, possessors
realized by clitics are generated as heads of a Possessor Phrase
(PossP), which dominates NP and is dominated by DP. Dº selects
PossP as its complement and the clitic moves from Possº to Spec,DP.
The generation of the clitic as Possº explains why such a clitic
contrasts with other possessive structures, and cannot exhibit more
than one theta-role when there is more than one possessive in the

13. Mariana Lambova, V(P)-Fronting and V-Raising in Bulgarian
The article discusses predicate fronting for discourse reasons in
Bulgarian, proposing two instances of movement: phrasal (VP-
fronting) and sub-phrasal (V-fronting). Lambova presents new data
from Bulgarian showing that VP-fronting is limited. She suggests that
VP-fronting is discourse motivated as topicalization or focus fronting,
while V-fronting involves head movement. It is shown that V-fronting is
syntactic and more local than phrasal movement. Hence, the Long
Head Movement hypothesis by Rivero (1991) is rejected.
Furthermore, the author shows that remnant movement correlates
with object shift in Bulgarian and that head movement cannot be a PF
phenomenon contrary to what is suggested by Chomsky (2000).

14. Franc Marušič and Rok Žaucer, A Reanalysis of the FEEL-LIKE
Construction in Slovenian
This article discusses the syntactic structure of the dative-reflexive
intensional construction in Slovenian also known as FEEL-LIKE
construction. The authors argue against Rivero and Milojević
Sheppard's (2003) view that this is a monoclausal structure they call
Dative Existential Disclosure construction. Following Larson's (2002)
biclausal analysis of intensional transitive verbs, the authors provide
evidence from double non-agreeing adverbials, double depictives, and
hierarchy of adverbials (Cinque, 1999) to show that the Slovenian
FEEL-LIKE construction should be analyzed as a biclausal structure.
Marušič and Žaucer suggest that the structure of this construction
contains a covert matrix FEEL-LIKE predicate without an active vP. It
takes as a complement a deficient clausal complement without a
Tense Phrase. There is no problem for the tense of the matrix
predicate to be realized on the embedded verb since there are no
phases intervening between the lower V and the higher T.

15. Ilana Mezhevich, On Russian 'Expletive': Èto and Post-Verbal
The article examines Russian constructions containing ÈTO in the
subject (preverbal) position coindexed with a post-verbal clause.
Mezhevich argues against the view based on Chomsky (1986) and
supported by Franks (1990) that ÈTO is an expletive element which
forms a chain with the coindexed element. Èto is a referential pronoun
which must be theta-marked, in contrast to English expletives.
Furthermore, the author studies cases when ÈTO does not occupy
the subject position, and argues that their syntactic structure differs
from those where ÈTO is present. Finally, Mezhevich suggests that
when ÈTO is present, the construction contains an adjunct that has
properties of a right-dislocated XP. The antecedent of ÈTO is the co-
indexed post-verbal clause. Èto receives its phi-features (3rd singular-
neuter) from AGR (an N-type element found within the INFL node) and
its semantic reference from the co-indexed clause.

16. Roland Meyer, Prosody, Mood, and Focus: A Study
of 'Intonationally marked' Yes-no Questions in Russian
The paper aims to give an account for the basic intonation patterns of
Russian Yes/No-questions (YNQ) with and without the interrogative
particle Li, seeking to relate their shape and pitch accent. Meyer
makes the following proposals:
(i) pitch accent marks illocutionary force (pragmatic 'questionhood')
rather than interrogative sentence type.
(ii) there is an identifiable subset of Russian li-less YNQs which are
marked [+Q]; this feature makes them proper syntactic interrogatives.
(iii) [+Q] is a focus particle in Russian (unlike in English). It obligatorily
binds an operator focus. Thus, presentational focus is excluded in
Russian proper YNQs, and Verum focus is the variant imposing least
requirements on the context.
(iv) the locus of the 'most neutral' pitch accent is determined by the
presence or absence of a [+Q]-operator.

17. Gereon Müller, A Distributive Morphology Approach to Syncretism
in Russian Noun Inflection
The goal of this paper is to show that trans-paradigmatic syncretism
can be derived systematically in essentially the same way as intra-
paradigmatic syncretism. This implies that inflection markers may bear
underspecified case and inflection class information, which often leads
to a competition of markers. This competition can be resolved by
selection of the most specific marker. Following Bierwisch (1967) for
German and Wiese (2001) for Latin, Müller assumes that the six
Russian cases result from the cross-classification of the three binary
primitive case features: [±subject], [±object], and [±oblique].Trans-
paradigmatic syncretism is derived in the same way: by decomposing
privative class features into more primitive binary features. Cross-
classification of these inflection markers encodes natural classes of
inflection. The four inflectional classes result form a cross-
classification of two abstract features [± alpha], [± beta] as follows:
Class I: [+alpha, -beta]; Class II: [-alpha, +beta]; Class III: [-alpha, -
beta]; Class IV: [+alpha, +beta]. Further, Müller suggests that animacy-
driven syncretism cannot be accounted for in the same way. Instead,
an impoverishment rule is adopted. Following Noyer (1998), the
author proposes two impoverishment rules, which turn a syntactic
accusative context into a morphological genitive context.

18. Irina A. Sekerina, Eva M. Fernández, and Krassimira A. Petrova,
Relative Clause Attachment in Bulgarian
The article aims to find the place in which structurally ambiguous
relative clauses (RC) are attached in Bulgarian. Three different
experiments are conducted to show the preferences of Bulgarian
speakers for high or low RC attachment. Experiment 1 is a traditional
paper and pencil test where the speakers have to answer which
element the RC refers to. The results show that most of the speakers
prefer high attachment in both canonical and scrambled word order
sentences. Experiment 2 is an audio-visual color-identification task
where the participants have to show their preference by pointing to a
picture. Experiment 3 replicates Experiment 2, with a written first part
instead of the audio stimuli. Both experiments 2 and 3 showed
drastically different results from experiment1: more than 60%
preference for low RC attachment, which supports the hypothesis of
Late Closure Principle (Frazier and Fodor, 1978). The authors take
the conflicting results of the three experiments to suggest that RC
attachment is sensitive to variation in materials and to methodological

19. Olga Mišeska Tomić, Genesis of the Balkan Slavic Future Tenses
This paper deals with the evolution of future tenses in Balkan Slavic
languages. The author claims that in all Balkan Slavic languages
future tenses with modal clitics (Mod.Cl) have developed from
restructuring configurations in which subjunctive constructions appear
in complement positions of forms of a lexical 'will'-verb, such that
subjects of main and embedded clause are coreferential. The cross
linguistic differences are due to the fact that different languages have
reached different stages of their evolution of the future tense. Tomić
proposes the following four structures:
(i) [T/AgrSP NP/DPi [T/AgrS [AuxP ti Mod.Cl [VP ti Vinf]
(ii) [T/AgrSP NP/DPi [T/AgrS [AuxP ti Mod.Cl [MoodP ti da [VP ti V]
(iii) [MoodP NP/DPi [Mod Mod.Cl [MoodP ti [Mood da [T/AgrSP ti
[T/AgrS [VP ti V]
(iv) [MoodP NP/DPi [Mod Mod.Cl [MoodP ti [Mood O [T/AgrSP ti
[T/AgrS [VP ti V]

Most Serbo-Croatian dialects went only through the first two stages;
contemporary standard Serbian has future tenses with the structures
(i) and (ii); contemporary standard Croatian has only the structure in
(i). Macedonian and Bulgarian went through all of these stages; hence
they contain only structures like (iv). However, in negative
constructions Macedonian exhibits a more advanced structure than

20. Egor Tsedryk, Case and Agreement in Russian Adversity
Impersonal Constructions
This article studies Adversity Impersonal Constructions (A-I) with
psychological and non-psychological predicates. While non-
psychological verbs can appear in A-Is where the theme argument is
marked with Instrumental (Instr) case, in psychological A-Is, the theme
argument can appear only as Nominative. Tsedryk argues that this
phenomenon is due to the fact that psych verbs involve a categorical
type of predication, which forces the experiencer DP to move from
[Spec, PredP] to [Spec, vcausP]. This movement delays Spell Out and
makes inevitable the agreement between T and the theme argument.
In contrast, in non-psychological predicates the patient DP does not
move from [Spec, PredP] thus the vP is spelled out with the DP
bearing Instr case. When T is merged, there are no active case
features left in the structure, and its phi-set remains unvalued until the
next application of Spell Out, which triggers impersonal marking of the
verbal inflection.


The book represents an important step in the development of Slavic
Linguistics. The significance of this compilation is undeniable for
linguists who are interested in all aspects of Slavic languages. The
discussion of often debated problems and phenomena from
phonology, historical linguistics, language processing, syntax and
semantics, is a great resource for future research. Another important
aspect of the compilation is comparison with languages that do not
belong to the Slavic family. Thus, the volume should be of interest to
an even broader public than just Slavicists. The significant empirical
data together with the far-reaching analyses in the articles reveal the
high level of the conference and the advances in the field. The new
analytical and methodological insights contained in the articles are
perhaps the most valuable asset of the book, and raise many
challenging questions.

Overall, the present volume represents an important and up-to-date
contribution to linguistic analysis, especially in the field of Slavic


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Galina Dukova-Zheleva is currently a PhD student and a research
assistant for Dr. María Luisa Rivero at the Linguistic Department of the
University of Ottawa, Canada. Her doctoral research focuses on the
syntax-semantics interface of interrogatives in Bulgarian in
comparison with their equivalents in languages like English and

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