LectureNotes2 - Ling 165B Syntax II Syntax and Morphology...

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Ling 165B Syntax II Syntax and Morphology 2/7/2008 Winter 08 1 Syntax and Morphology In this chapter, we address a number of empirical and theoretical problems that arose given our assumptions so far. These include: the relation between morphology and syntax the fact that certain heads (C, T, D, Num, A, ..) take single sister complements, while others (Vs, Ns) can have more than one complement conflicting results of constituency tests with these types of verbs or nouns. A closer look at causative and anticausative verbs and the distribution of silent morphemes, will lead us to a refinement of VP internal structure, and to the introduction of so-called “VP shell” structures: some elements which look like simple Vs in fact turn out to be complex syntactic structures, composed of different syntactic heads. The introduction of these VP shell structures will allow us to look at the questions listed above in new ways. [ This is a very intricate topic at the edge of a lot of current research, and with a highly charged history in the field. The intent of what is covered here is to give a general idea of the type of reasoning used to address these problems and should be construed as a simplified, though well supported, picture of what is understood today .] 1. Causative affixes: Syntax or Morphology? Consider sentences such as the following: (1) The towel was wet (2) They will wet the towel What kind of syntactic analysis should we provide for such sentences? In the first sentence, the verb be exhibits some complex morphological structure which has led us to postulate V to T. Since the subject of the sentence is selected by the adjective, we have also analyzed the sentence as involving raising to subject position of TP from the subject position of the AP small clause: (3)The towel [be+ past be [the towel wet] ] We know that the two movements are required. Let us try to think about this a bit more precisely. Movement of the subject is required because the adjective wet has the following lexical entry: wet: A, free, c-selects DP-Theme as subject, ‘meaning’…. Raising of V to T must be triggered by the fact that the Past Tense head normally pronounced – ed is a bound morpheme which must stick to something else. In this way, it is similar to the adjectival suffix –al that we see in nation-al . The way we had coded this property for – al was in its lexical entry. We do similarly for past Tense:
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