Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Splitting and clustering grammatical information

This project focuses on a striking parallelism between two macro-groups of languages: southern Italian dialects and the so-called split-ergative languages, like Basque, Georgian, Dyirbal, Hindi/Urdu.

Duration
2010  -   2014
Funding
NWO VIDI NWO VIDI

This project focuses on a striking parallelism between two macro-groups of languages: southern Italian dialects and the so-called split-ergative languages, like Basque, Georgian, Dyirbal, Hindi/Urdu. Surprisingly, these two groups of languages, which have otherwise very little in common, both organize the grammatical material in a very peculiar fashion, by grouping some elements together to the exclusion of others.

Abruzzese has a person split, this means that the auxiliary a verb selects for the 1st and 2nd person is different from the 3rd person. This pattern is very common in split-ergative languages such as Dyirbal. They have a different case system depending on the subject (1st/2nd or 3rd): for 1st/2nd the Nominative/Accusative case is used and the 3rd person follows the ergative/absolutive case system.

Aside from the person split, there are many other possible splits that cause have-be alternation in Romance and Germanic languages and case alternation (or other kinds of alternations) in split-ergative languages. Other common triggers are mood, tense and aspect. We will refer to this as 'grammatical information'. The term split will be used to refer to the divisions in this grammatical information.

This project shifts the focus of investigation from the traditional have-be alternation to what triggers it, namely the splits in grammatical information. The final aim of this project is to unveil their function in the linguistic system and the mechanism that creates them.

ComSyn is a discussion group about Comparative Syntax at Leiden University Center for Linguistics (LUCL). Speakers from all over the world are very welcome to present their work in an informal setting.

If you have any suggestions/questions, please contact one of the organisers: Enrico Boone, Marieke Meelen, Laura Migliori or Giuseppe Torcolacci.

You can find all the information about the papers we will discuss, the timetable and the location at the ComSyn Blog

Everyone is welcome to attend!

Syntactic Agreement

1.

February 1

What is agreement? A typology of agreement facts

0. Introduction

    0.1. Features

    0.2. Agree

    0.3. Agreement domains

    0.4. Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives

1. Is this agreement?

    1.1. No agreement/loss of agreement     

    1.2. Spreading    

 

Readings

§         class notes [Blackboard-BB]

§         Corbett, G. Agreement, CUP. Chapter 1

 

 

 

2.

February 8

Phi features and syntactic agreement

0. What are features?

1. One step back: Jakobson & Halle

2. Featural accounts of agreement

    2.1. Infl

    2.2. Rich agreement and verb movement

3. The structure of feature bundles-Morphological agreement

    3.1. φ-feature inventory

    3.2. Morphosyntactic feature geometry

    3.3. Agreement in a feature-geometrical system

4. Nanosyntax

 

Readings

§         class notes [BB]

§         Adger, D. (2003) Core Syntax, OUP. Chapter 2

§         Belletti, A. (2001). ‘Agreement projections’. In Baltin & Collins (eds), The Handbook of Syntactic Theory’. Blackwell [BB]

Jakobson & Halle (1956) [BB]

§         Harbour, Adger & BéjarPhi Theory. Chapter 1 (‘Why Phi?’) [BB]

§         Harley, H & E. Ritter (2002) ‘Structuring the bundle: A universal morphosyntactic feature geometry’. In H. Weise and H. Simon, eds. Pronouns: Grammar and Representation, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 23-39. [BB]

§         Starke, M. (2002). ‘Nanosyntax. A short primer to a new approach to language’. Ms. CASTL [BB]

 

 

 

 

3.

February 15

Phi theory and syntactic agreement continued/Agree

0. Spec/Head agreement

    0.1. Why Spec/Head?

    0.2. Agreement projections

1. The Minimalist program

    1.1. Feature checking

    1.2. The lexicon

    1.3. Match

2. MP 2.0. Chomsky (1995, Chapter 4)

     2.1. Why Spec, TP and not Agr?

     2.2. Subject-verb agreement in Later Early MP

 

Readings

§         class notes [BB]

§         Chomsky, N. (1995). The Minimalist program. Chapter 3.

§         Chomsky, N. (1995). The Minimalist program. Chapter 4.

§         Kayne, R. (1989) [2000]. ‘Facets of Romance Past Participle Agreement’. In Benincà, P. (ed.), Dialect Variation and the Theory of Grammar. Dordrecht: Foris, 85-103; reprinted in Kayne, R. (2000). Parameters and Universals. OUP.

§         Gallego, A. (2010). Phase Theory. John Benjamins. Chapter 1. The Framework (in particular, section 2.2.)

 

 

 

4.

February 22

Agree

0. Agree

    Minimalist Inquiries

    0.1. Match + Agree

    0.2. Case and active features

    0.3. Defective Intervention Effect

    0.4. Participial Agree

1. Derivation by Phase

    1.1. Phases

    1.2. The PIC

2. Agreement without movement. A case study

    2.1. Analysing pp agreement

    2.2. The condition on morpho-phonological realisation of agreement

 

Readings

§         class notes [BB]

§         Chomsky, N. (1998) [2000]. Minimalist Inquiries, ms., MIT. Published as ‘Minimalist Inquiries: The framework’. In: Martin, R, D. Michaels & J. Uriagereka (eds) (2000), Step by Step. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 89-156.

§         Chomsky, N. (1999) [2001]. Derivation by Phase, ms. MIT. Published as   ‘Derivation by Phase’. In Kenstowicz, M. (ed.) Ken Hale: A life in language. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1-52.[BB]

§         D’Alessandro, R. & I. Roberts (2008). ‘Movement and agreement in Italian past participles and defective phases’. Linguistic Inquiry 39(3), 477-491.  [BB]

 

 

 

5.

March 1

Verb-argument agreement. Three case studies

1. Italian pp agreement without object movement. How it works.

   1.1. Transitive vP

   1.2. Intransitive vP

   1.3. Passives

   1.4. Reflexives/impersonals

   1.5. Object clitics

2. Past participle agreement in Abruzzese

    2.1. The data

    2.2. The analysis

3. Food for thought.Agreement mismatch in Ripatransone

    3.1. Agreement with transitive verbs

    3.2. ‘Contagious’ agreement

    3.3. Trying to analyze these data

    3.4. Chomsky DbP Probe-Goal Agree

   

 

Readings

§         class notes

§         D’Alessandro, R. & I. Roberts (2008). ‘Movement and agreement in Italian past participles and defective phases’. Linguistic Inquiry 39(3), 477-491. [BB]

§         D’Alessandro, R. & i. Roberts (2010). Past participle agreement in Abruzzese: Split auxiliary selection and the null-subject parameter. Natural Language            and Linguistic Theory 28: 41-72. [BB]

§         Kayne, R. (1988). ‘Romance Se/Si’. Paper presented at the GLOW Colloquium, Budapest, GLOW Newsletter 20.

§         Chomsky, N. (2005) [2008]. ‘On Phases’. Ms, MIT. Appeared as ‘On Phases’. In Freidin, R., C. P. Otero & M. L. Zubizarreta (eds), Foundational Issues in Linguistic Theory. Essays in Honor of Jean-Roger Vergnaud. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 133-166. Chapter 6. [BB]

 

 

 

6.

March 8

Deriving Agreement Mismatch

0. Agreement mismatch configurations

    0.1. Concord or feature checking?

1. Multiple Agree

    1.1. Cyclic Agree

    1.2. Dominance

2. RT agreement explained

    2.1. Feature hierarchy

    2.2. How it works

    2.3. Split vP and Case

 

 

Readings

§         class notes

§         Béjar, S. & M. Rezac. 2009. ‘Cyclic Agree’. Linguistic Inquiry 35-73.

§         Ouali, H. 2008. ‘On C-to-T Phi-Feature Transfer: the nature of Agreement and Anti- Agreement in Berber’. In D’Alessandro, R. Fischer, S. & G. H.            Hrafnbjargarson (eds) Agreement restrictions. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter. [BB]

§         Müller, G. 2004. ‘Argument encoding and the order of elementary operations’. Paper presented at GLOW 2004, University of Thessaloniki. [BB]

§         Müller, G. 2010. ‘On deriving CED effects from the PIC’. Linguistic Inquiry.[BB]

 

7.

March 15

Tentamen

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction to Italian dialectology

An introduction on Italian dialectology will be taught as part of the Taalkunde IIa course, in the 2nd semester. For the timetable see (the timetable of) the Italian Department.

Introduction to parametric and microparametric variation

This is an introductory course that I first taught at the LOT summer school in Leiden and will be taught, slightly modified, at the EGG summer school 2010 in Constanta.

You can find the LOT handouts here and the EGG handouts here

Topics in syntactic agreement

EGG 2010 summer school course.

You can find the handouts here

Papers / Handouts by Roberta D'Alessandro

Monographs

Syntactic Agreement. Key Topics in Syntax series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Forthcoming.

Volumes

The Verbal Domain (edited with Irene Franco and Ángel Gallego). Oxford University Press. Forthcoming.

Approcci diversi alla dialettologia italiana contemporanea. Special Issue of L’Italia Dialettale (edited with Claudio Di Felice, Irene Franco and Adam Ledgeway). ID LXXV. 2014.

Syntactic variation. The dialects of Italy (authored and edited with Adam Ledgeway and Ian Roberts). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2010.

Journal articles

Modular PIC (with Tobias Scheer). Forthcoming, Linguistic Inquiry.

Death and contact-induced rebirth of impersonal pronouns. A case study. In: Diego Pescarini and Andrea Calabrese (eds), Special Issue on The Diachrony of pronominal systems. Probus 26.2., 249-274. 2014.

Phase-head marking (with Tobias Scheer). In: Hisao Tokizaki and Yoshi Dobashi (eds). Universal Syntax and Parametric Phonology. Special Issue of Linguistic Analysis 38:4, 305-330. 2013.

‘Soggetti non canonici in abruzzese: i pronomi impersonali nome ed anne’. Archivio Glottologico Italiano (2): 227-262. (appeared in 2011)

Past participle agreement in Abruzzese: Split auxiliary selection and the null-subject parameter (with Ian Roberts). Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 28: 41-72. 2010.

At the C-T boundary: Investigating Abruzzese complementation (with Adam Ledgeway). Lingua 120/8: 2040-2060. 2010.

On the role of gemination in passives: the case of Abruzzese (with Theresa Biberauer). Snippets 21. 2010.

Book chapters, peer reviewed proceedings and other articles

La metafonia ariellese tra fonologia e lessico (with Marc van Oostendorp). In: Jacopo Garzonio, Diana Passino and Diego Pescarini (eds), Quaderni Linguistici dell’ASIT. I dialetti abruzzesi. Forthcoming.

Phonology, morphology, lexicon and their interface: The case of metaphony (with Marc van Oostendorp). In: Francesc Torres Tamarit, Katrin Linke, and Marc van Oostendorp (eds), Approaches to metaphony in the languages of Italy. Berlin, Mouton de Gruyter. Forthcoming.

Agreement restrictions and agreement oddities in Romance (with Diego Pescarini). In: Susann Fischer and Christoph Gabriel (eds), Grammatical interfaces in Romance linguistics. Berlin: De Gruyter. Forthcoming.

The Null Subject Parameter. In: Antonio Fábregas, Jaume Mateu and Michael Putnam (eds), The Handbook of Parameters. London: Bloomsbury Press. Forthcoming.

Approcci diversi alla dialettologia italiana contemporanea (with Claudio Di Felice, Irene Franco, and Adam Ledgeway). In L’Italia Dialettale ID LXXV, Special Issue, 7-11. 2014.

Phonetic aspects of polar questions in Sienese: an experimental approach (with Sara Lusini and Johan Rooryck). In: Joanneke Caspers, Yiya Chen, Willemijn Heeren, Jos Pacilly, Niels Schiller, and Ellen van Santen (eds), Above and beyond the segments. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 2014.

The verbal domain: TP-VP structure and auxiliaries. In: Roberta D'Alessandro, Adam Ledgeway, and Ian Roberts, (eds), Syntactic Variation. The dialects of Italy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 27-38. 2010.

The Abruzzese T-v system: feature spreading and the double auxiliary construction. (with Adam Ledgeway). Roberta D'Alessandro, Adam Ledgeway, and Ian Roberts, (eds), Syntactic Variation. The dialects of Italy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 201-210. 2010.

Invited lectures/*Keynote addresses

‘Person-oriented phenomena’. Workshop on Personal Pronouns, Utrecht, 13 November 2013.

 *‘Microvariation and Syntactic theory’. Workshop on the syntactic variation of Catalan and Spanish dialects. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 26-28 June 2013.

‘Syntactic feature mapping to PF: Phonology for φ, prosody for discourse’. Syntax UilOTS. Utrecht University, 6 May 2013.

‘Phi features for syntax, edge features for prosody. Insights into the Syntax-PF interface’. With Marc van Oostendorp. GLUEII Workshop on Complement(ation). Rome3 University, Rome, 29 April 2013.

‘Parameterized v. A typology of Italian dialects’. Workshop on Italian Dialects and Syntactic Theory. Leiden, 28 February 2013.

Merging Probes and the locus of syntactic variation’. MIT LingLunch, 25 October 2012.

‘Subject clitics and person-driven auxiliary selection: two faces of the same coin’. Yale Linguistic Colloquium. 22 October 2012.

‘Abruzzese metaphony between phonology and the lexicon’. Giornata di studi sui Dialetti abruzzesi. Arielli, 5 October 2012.

*‘An external look at ergativity’. Invited lecture. 1 st Cambridge Comparative Syntax Workshop, Cambridge University, 18-19 May 2012.

‘Chunk definition and PIC à la carte’ (with Tobias Scheer). Invited lecture. Workshop on Exploring the Interfaces 1: word structure, McGill University 6-8 May 2012.

 ‘Vocative morphology at the syntax-phonology interface’ (with Marc van Oostendorp). Invited lecture, Essex, Linguistic circle, March 3 2012; also presented at Leiden Syntax Lab, November 2011.

 ‘Death and contact-induced rebirth of impersonal pronouns in Abruzzese. The case of nome and anne’. Invited lecture. University of Nijmegen, 22 November 2011.

‘Non-Romance features in Italo-Romance. A look into Southern Italian dialects’. Cambridge Italian Dialect Syntax Meeting 5. University of Cambridge. Keynote address. June 2011.

‘Die ewige Wiederkunft des Gleichen’. Syntactic agreement’. Lecture series held at the University of Cambridge, June 2011.

‘What agreement can tell us about the complexity of v’. Invited lecture, Syntax Uil-OTS Interface meeting. Utrecht University.

‘Eccentric agreement in Italo-Romance and parameterized v’. Invited lecture at UQAM, Montreal. May 2011.

‘Eccentric agreement in Italo-Romance. A closer look into feature-bundles’. Syntax Lab Cambridge University. February 2010.

Conference presentations (Peer reviewed selection)

‘On (enclitic) possessives in southern Italian dialects’ (with Laura Migliori). CIDSM 7, University of Cambridge, 24-25 June 2013.  

Abruzzese metaphony between phonology, morphology and lexicon (with Marc van Oostendorp). OCPX, Istanbul. 16-19 January 2013.

Modular PIC (with Tobias Scheer). NELS 43, CUNY, NY, 18-19 October 2012.

Phase-based inhibition of Raddoppiamento Fonosintattico: A case study (with Tobias Scheer), OCP 9, ZAS Berlin. 19-21 January 2012.

Agreement in upper-southern Italian dialects: A new typology for Romance. Edisyn Workshop. University of Amsterdam. 25 June 2011.

Agreement mismatch phenomena: A new typology for Romance. Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages 41. University of Ottawa. 5-7 May 2011.

 Ergativity in Romance? Agreement mismatch and delayed Agree in Italo-Romance. 21st Colloquium on Generative Grammar. University of Sevilla, 7-9 April 2011.

What agreement can tell us about v. 37th Incontro di Grammatic Generativa. University of Rome La Sapienza. 24-26 february 2011.

Eccentric agreement, feature hierarchies, and language continua. Rencontres d'Automne de Linguistique formelle (RALF). Université Paris 8/ CNRS, 14-16 October 2010.

Papers / Handouts by Laura Migliori

Publications

(in prep.) Argument structure, alignment and auxiliaries between Latin and Romance. Doctoral dissertation. Utrecht: LOT Dissertation Series.

(forthcoming) Between Latin and Romance. Some notes on the perfect. Romance Linguistics and Linguistic Theory 2013. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

(forthcoming) Agreement at narrow syntax, at PF or both. Evidence from Latin. Ms. University of Leiden.

(forthcoming) On (enclitic) possessives (with R. D’Alessandro). Ms. University of Leiden.

(forthcoming) Alcuni problemi morfologici in Ibico di Reggio. Leussein. Rivista di Studi Umanistici.

(2014a) Dal latino alle lingue romanze. Uno studio sull’ausiliazione perfettiva nei dialetti italiani centro-meridionali. To appear in Buchi, Éva/Chauveau, Jean-Paul/Pierrel, Jean-Marie (éd.), 2014 : Actes du XXVIIe Congrès international de linguistique et de philologie romanes (Nancy, 15-20 juillet 2013), 3 volumes. Strasbourg : Société de linguistique romane/ÉLiPh.

(2014b) Little v as a field. Evidence from the Latin verbal system. In Proceedings of NELS 44. Volume 2, 27-38. University of Massachusetts.

Lectures and conference presentations

Voice* in Old Italian (with Irene Franco). IGG 40. University of Trento. 13-16 February 2014.

Deponent verbs and the active/inactive alignment in Latin. Graduate seminar in linguistics (invited speaker). Università Ca’ Foscari – Venezia. February 2014.

The perfect and other verbal periphrases between Latin an Romance. Graduate seminar in linguistics (invited speaker). Università degli Studi di Padova. February 2014.

Voice* in Old Italian (with Irene Franco). IGG40. Università di Trento, 13-15 February 2014.

Between Latin and Romance. Some notes on the perfect. Going Romance : XXVII Symposium on Romance Linguistics. Universiteit van Amsterdam, 28-30 November 2013.

Little v as a field. Evidence from the Latin verbal system. The 44th Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society. University of Connecticut, 18-20 October 2013.

Dal latino alle lingue romanze. Uno studio diacronico sull’ausiliazione nei dialetti italiani centro-meridionali. XXVIIe Congres International de LPR, Université de Nancy, 14-20 July 2013.

Some observations on the Latin perfect. Syntax and diachrony. TABU-Dag, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, 13th June 2013.

The Latin perfect split: a syntax-morphology mismatch? Syntax-Interface Meetings, Universiteit Utrecht, 11th February 2013.

The syntax of Latin –r constructions Syntax Lab, University of Cambridge, 10th December 2012.

Agreement and parameters (Comparative Syntax Master Class, Prof. I. Roberts, LOT Summer School 2012, Universiteit Utrecht)

Split auxiliary selection in Southern Italian Dialects: synchrony and diachrony. (Joint poster presentation with MA G. Torcolacci, LOT Winter School 2012, Universiteit Tilburg)

Agreement at narrow syntax, PF or both. Evidence from Latin. (Brussels Conference of Generative Linguistics 6, Configurations of Agreement, CRISSP,19-20 December 2011)

Partial agreement vs. full agreement in Latin. (Romance Lab, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics, 12th December 2011)

Partial agreement vs. full agreement: a cross-linguistic overview. (General Papers, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics, 28th October 2011)

Presentation of the VIDI Research Project: Splitting and clustering grammatical information, (Prof. R. D’Alessandro) (Joint work with Drs. G. Torcolacci, PhD Presentation Day, LUCL, 11th November 2010)

Papers / Handouts by Giuseppe Torcolacci

Publications

(forthcoming) Ph.D. Dissertation. Title: Marking the Default. Auxiliary selection in Southern Italian dialects. To be published in LOT publications, Utrecht.

(forthcoming) ‘The m-marking of φ. Evidence from perfective auxiliaries in Southern Italian dialects’. To appear in Proceedings of LSRL44, University of London, ON.

(2013) ‘Sulla natura degli ausiliari perfettivi di terza persona nelle varietà italo-romanze meridionali’. Translation: ‘On the nature of 3rd person perfective auxiliaries in the southern Italo-Romance varieties’. In: Proceedings of CILPR27 (actes électroniques), University of Nancy.

(2014) ‘Il Raddoppiamento Fonosintattico e la codifica di tratti morfosintattici. Il caso dei dialetti italiani meridionali’. Translation: ‘Syntactic doubling and the encoding of morphosyntactic features. The case of southern Italian dialects’. In: L’Italia Dialettale 75.

Conference presentations (Peer reviewed selection)

The 14th international conference in current issues in linguistic variation, University of Bucharest (RO). Title: ‘The uniformity of markedness between Tense and φ. Default Marking in Southern Italian dialects’. Date: 28-29 November 2014.

LSRL44, University of London, ON (CA). Title: ‘The m-marking of φ. Evidence from perfective auxiliaries in Southern Italian dialects’. Date: 2-4 May 2014.

Going Romance 27, University of Amsterdam (NL). Title: ‘On the post-syntactic operation ‘marking the default’. Date: 28-30 November 2013;

CILPR27, University of Nancy (FR). Title: ‘Sulla natura degli ausiliari perfettivi di terza persona nelle varietà italo-romanze meridionali’. Translation: ‘On the nature of 3rd person perfective auxiliaries in the southern Italo-Romance varieties’. Date: 15-20 July 2013;

CIDSM7, University of Cambridge (UK). Title: ‘Mark the unmarked. Evidence from Southern Italian dialects’. Date: 24-25 June 2013;

IGG39, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (IT). Title: ‘Strategies of marking the unmarked’. Date: 21-23 February 2013;

Italian Dialect Meeting, University of Leiden (NL). Title: ‘Raddoppiamento Fonosintattico and the encoding of features at PF. Evidence from Southern Italian dialects’. Date: 24-26 May 2012.

IGG38, University of Verona (IT). Title: ‘Phonological doubling as a morphosyntactic operation: a case study from Southern Italian dialects’. Date: 23-25 February 2012.

IGG38 (poster presentation), University of Verona (IT). Title: ‘Phonological doubling as a morphosyntactic operation: a case study from Southern Italian dialects’. Date: 23-25 February 2012.

Invited lectures

Workshop on Raddoppiamento Fonosintattico, University of Leiden (NL). Title: ‘Raddoppiamento Fonosintattico and the encoding of features at the syntax-phonology interface’. Date: 2 June 2014.

Italian Dialect Festival, University of Leiden (NL). Title: ‘Strategies of marking the unmarked’. Date: 28 February 2013.

Syntax Lab, University of Cambridge (UK). Title: ‘Raddoppiamento Fonosintattico and the encoding of features at PF’. Date: 12 February 2012.

Other presentations

Joint-poster presentation (with MA Migliori Laura) at the LOT Winter School, University of Tilburg. Title of the presentation: ‘The syntax of auxiliary selection in southern Italian dialects. Synchrony and diachrony’. Date: 16 January 2012.

The members of the scientific advisory board are:

  • Michela Cennamo, Professor of Linguistics, University of Naples Federico II.
  • Adam Ledgeway, Senior Lecturer in Romance Philology and Chair, Italian Department, University of Cambridge.
  • Anoop Mahajan, Professor of Linguistics and chair, Department of Linguistics, UCLA.
  • Maria Rita Manzini, Professor of Linguistics, University of Florence.
  • Ian Roberts, Professor of Linguistics, University of Cambridge.

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