Thursday, June 13, 2019

Best All-in-One Morphology Package

This package is more of a promissory note, than a real package. I am not a morphologist, and have not done extensive work on morphology. That being said, I have very specific views on what a theory of morphology should be like. My basic point of view is derived from works such as Baker (1988) and Pollock (1989), and diverges radically from current theories of morphology in the DM and nano-syntax traditions.

The most extreme position one can take is: There is no morphological component in UG. In particular, there are no operations or processes or properties or representational primitives that play a role in accounting for morphological generalizations that are different from those found in the syntactic component. So that is the research agenda.

All of the papers here try to get at this way of looking at things in one way or the other. My views on morphology are most closely aligned to those of Richard Kayne (especially his recent papers), but also to those of people like Hilda Koopman and Judy Bernstein.

Towards a Theory of Morphology as Syntax
(with Richard Kayne)
December 2020
In this paper, we discuss the relationship between syntax and morphology. In particular, we are interested in the question of the extent to which morphological generalizations can be accounted for in terms of syntactic operations and principles. The thesis that will be defended is the following: Morphological generalizations are accounted for in terms of syntactic operations and principles. There is no morphological component in UG. There are no post-syntactic morphological operations.

Forms of the Copula in English
October 2020
 In this paper, I give a syntactic analysis of the suppletive forms of the copula (i.e., is, are, am) that eschews reference to late insertion, competition and blocking. Rather, the paradigm is explained in terms of a rich set of functional projections dominating the copular VP, and principles by which the heads of those projections are spelled-out.

A Syntactic Approach to Case Contiguity
November 2020
Building on the empirical results and theoretical insights of Caha 2013, I show how to derive the Case Contiguity Constraint in a syntactic theory of morphology.  In particular, I show how to derive *ABA in the domain of case syncretism without appeal to late insertion.

Spelling-Out NEG
May 2019
Abstract: In Collins and Postal 2014, a set of mapping rules were given for spelling out the abstract morphemes NEG and SOME. In this paper, I eliminate these mapping rules without loss of empirical coverage.

The Logic of Contextual Allomorphy
August 2018
Abstract: In this paper, I explore ways of analyzing contextual allomorphy that eschew reference to competition and blocking. Instead, I propose the independence assumption on suffixes. I illustrate the framework with case studies from English morphology, including irregular plurals and irregular past tense verb forms. Lastly, I show how the phenomenon of doublets provides strong support for the independence assumption.

Click Pronouns in N|uu
November 2014
Abstract: First and second person pronouns in Nǀuu have both a simple form and a click form. I show that this distinction does not correspond to the weak pronoun versus strong pronoun distinction found in other languages. Rather, the distribution of simple pronouns and click pronouns is determined by the linker. I propose that pronouns in Nǀuu involve a Part node that can either be empty or filled by a dental click (amongst other possibilities), and that an empty Part node cannot immediately follow the linker (the Simple Pronoun Constraint).

Home Sweet Home
December 2007
The word “home” can be used as a directional or a (non-directional) locative, as shown in the following examples: (1) a. They went home. (directional) b. They stayed home. (locative) This paper will attempt to explain the following asymmetry between the overt realization of “to” and the overt realization of “at” with the word “home”: (4) a. I went (*to) home. b. I did my homework *(at) home. c. I stayed (at) home. The main theoretical conclusions of the paper are as follows. First, the condition governing the pronunciation of prepositions is a generalization of the Doubly-Filled Comp Filter, reformulated as an economy condition on Spell-Out. Second, I show that the notion of “light noun” as put forth in Kishimoto (2000) to account for the properties of expressions like “somebody” and “nothing”, also plays a role in the syntax of “home” and other locative expressions in English. Third, my paper makes a contribution to the growing literature on the internal structure of PPs (see Koopman 2000). In particular, I show that “from” should be analyzed as “from AT”, and that particles such as “in” should be analyzed as “AT/TO in”.

A Note on Derivational Morphology
August 2006
This paper argues that derivational suffixes are verbal arguments.

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