Elena Callegari + Jozina Vander Klok

These are two separate talks:

Elena Callegari: 14:15 - 15:00

Jozina Vander Klok: 15:15 - 16:00

Titles and Abstracts below

Elena CallegariThe Relative Position of Foci and Interrogative Complementizers: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective

According to Abels (2012), the movement of a focus to a left-peripheral position is blocked by the presence of an intervening polarity complementizer (POL), i.e. by elements such as English if and Italian se, which introduce embedded polarity questions. On the basis of long-distance focalization, I show that polarity complementizers are not in fact interveners for focalization. Employing a cross-linguistic comparison of eight Slavic languages, I then show that in languages where a fronted focus may locally precede POL, this is because POL is a complex morpheme derived through the incorporation of a lower functional head with a higher one. In those languages where this ordering configuration is not possible, POL is not derived through movement but is externally merged directly in the position in which it surfaces.

Jozina Vander KlokOn the 'subject/topic' in Javanese

Many Austronesian languages are viewed as ‘topic-prominent’ (Li & Thompson 1976), and for some languages, it is argued that the ‘subject’ is always a topic (e.g., Mashudi 1976, Alsagoff 1992 for Malay; Pearson 2005 for Malagasy; Poedjosoedarmo 1977, Cole et al. 2002, Sato 2015 for Javanese).  For instance, Cole et al. (2002) posit a syntactic rule is whereby the grammatical subject (Spec,TP) is the always topic in Javanese. Using a new diagnostic from the syntax of answers to yes-no questions, I show that this ‘Strict Parallelism Hypothesis’ is too strong for Javanese. I further suggest that – for any language – a strict relation between pragmatics and specific syntactic positions is also too strong.

Published Feb. 6, 2018 5:40 PM - Last modified Apr. 3, 2018 11:16 AM