Saturday, November 16, 2019

Papers that I would love to write (but do not have time for right now)

Here is a list of papers that I would love to write, but do not have time for right now.

Revisiting Quotative Inversion

Abstract: In this paper, I revisit quotative inversion (QI), summarizing all known data on the construction (from Collins 1997, Collins and Branigan 1997, and subsequent papers building on them). I show that the head movement approach of Collins 1997 is not correct, but rather QI should be analyzed in terms of phrasal movement.

Morphology as Syntax

Abstract: I propose that morphology should be understood as syntax (a development of the tradition of Baker 1985 and Pollock 1989). That is, I propose that there is no morphological component, or special (non-syntactic or post-syntactic) rules of such a component. I illustrate my approach with case studies of inflectional morphology, derivational morphology and nominal compounding from English and other languages.

A Survey of the Klima Tests
[For Linguistic Compass]

Abstract: In this paper, I survey the Klima tests for sentential negation (e.g., tag-questions, the distribution of neither, etc.) and other related tests proposed by other researchers (e.g., see Collins and Postal 2017). I discuss the formulation of the tests, why they work the way the do, their properties and discrepancies between them. Relevant literature since 1964 is summarized.

A Comprehensive Grammar of the Kpele Dialect of Ewe

Abstract: The Kpele dialect of Ewe is spoken in Togo, north of Kpalime and South of Atakpame. I give a comprehensive overview of its grammatical properties (including phonology), and sketch how it compares to other dialects of Ewe. An appendix will include a short lexicon. This grammar will be of use to syntacticians looking at the micro-comparative syntax of Ewe dialects and Gbe languages, as well as the comparative syntax of African languages more generally. The grammar will also be of interest to members of the Kpelegbe speaking community.

Tonal Alternations in the Danyi Dialect of Ewe

Abstract: Following up on Ansre’s (1961) classical study of the tone of Ewe, I describe the tonal system of the Danyi dialect of Ewe (spoken western Togo). I give an autosegmental treatment that accounts for the contextual alternations found in the surface tones (including tonal spreading, floating tones and tonal deletion). I discuss the fundamentally syntactic nature of the principles involved, and also comment on why an OT account of the data would be unsatisfactory and unexplanatory.

The Null Copula in Setswana

Abstract: In this paper, I discuss the distribution of the null copular verb in Setswana, and compare its distribution to the distribution of null copular verbs in Russia and AAE. An example of the paradigm is given below:

Re thari.
3PL late
“We are late.”

Fa re le thari,
If 3PL COP late,
“If we are late,”

*Fa re thari,
If 3PL late,
Int.: “If we are late,”

In sentence (a) there is no copula between the subject clitic, and the word “late”. Sentences (b) and (c) show that such a copular element is obligatory in certain embedded clauses.

Chomsky on Semantics

Abstract: In this paper, I trace Chomsky’s thinking on semantics since the beginning generative grammar. Some of the topics covered include Chomsky’s thinking about: (a) the place of semantic interpretation in linguistic theory (e.g., generative vs. interpretive semantics), (b) the relationship between syntax and semantics (e.g., the autonomy of syntax), (c) the role of reference (and other semantic notions) in logic and human language, (d) ideas about semantics from analytic philosophers to Montague’s work to contemporary formal semantics.

The Distribution of Ellipsis in English

Abstract: Bearing the results of Collins (2015, 2018) in mind, I give a complete and systematic overview of the positions in which ellipsis is possible in English. I show that all current proposals fail to account for the wide range of ellipsis context in English, and propose an alternative.

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