Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Topics in Ewe Syntax (Collins 1993)

This thesis analyzes a number of problems in Ewe syntax. Its goal is to show how several difficult problems in Ewe syntax have natural treatments in the generative grammar framework, and how these problems bear on current theoretical issues.

Chapter one gives a brief overview of the assumptions that are adopted in this thesis. The assumptions of this thesis are largely those of Chomsky (1992) and Hale and Keyser (1993).

Chapter two gives an analysis of determiner doubling in Ewe. In this construction the third person singular object pronoun doubles a DP that does not have structural Case. Determiner doubling is analyzed as a kind of default Case assignment. Its precise distribution has important consequences for the grammar of Ewe, including the analysis of Serial Verb Constructions (SVCs), the verbal noun constructions, and A'-movement.

This system of default Case found in Ewe will be situated in a general theory of default Case, including Yoruba ni and Russian instrumental. The implications of default Case are drawn for the general theory of Case given in Chomsky (1992),

Chapter three gives a theory of Serial Verb Constructions (SVCs). The main assumptions that are made are that SVCs involve LF incorporation and that "argument sharing" is mediated by empty categories. These two assumptions lead to an account of many subtle phenomena concerning SVCs. 

Chapter four gives an analysis of how the form of the third person singular subject pronoun depends on movement to Spec CP. The analysis is extended to successive cyclic movement, where it is shown that principles of economy of derivation play a role.

Topics in Ewe Syntax

Collins, Chris. 1993. Topics in Ewe Syntax. Doctoral dissertation, MIT.

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