Syntax and Semantics

Indexiphors: notes on embedded indexicals, shifty agreement, and logophoricity

Amy Rose Deal
2018

Over the past 15 years there has been an explosion in the number of languages reported to allow indexical shift. Across this literature, the argument for indexical shifting is typically quite simple: (Premise 1) Indexical n has non-utterance-based reference in embedded clause c of language L. (Premise 2) Clause c cannot be a quote (e.g. because it is permeable to wh-movement or NPI licensing, or contains descriptions de re). (Conclusion) Therefore, Language L allows indexical shift. Is this form of argument valid? For many cases discussed in the recent literature: only if we take 1st...

Covert hyperraising to object

Amy Rose Deal
2017

I argue in this paper that Nez Perce has covert hyperraising to object: the DP in the highest A-position of a finite embedded clause covertly moves into an object position in the matrix VP. Implications of the Nez Perce facts include the following: The distribution of hyperraising cannot be regulated purely in terms of Activity (Chomsky 2001), but it cannot be regulated purely in terms of Intervention (Halpert 2016), either. CPs that are transparent for hyperraising may be opaque for other phi-Agree (viz complementizer agreement, A scrambling). My analysis follows Chomsky's 2001...

Towards an etiology of outer indices

Amy Rose Deal
2017

Must reflexive pronouns always interpreted as semantically bound by their local antecedents, as the conventional wisdom would have it? No: that is what we learn from ECM subject reflexives. A theory that hopes to deal with these reflexives adequately must allow for the broader range of interpretive possibilities that comes about when the local antecedents of reflexive pronouns are associated with mismatching inner and outer binding indices (in the sense of Heim 1993). In this case, reflexives reveal the ability to be coreferential or co-bound with their local antecedents, rather than...

Who has more? The influence of linguistic form on quantity judgments

Gregory Scontras
Kathryn Davidson
Amy Rose Deal
Sarah E. Murray
2017

Quantity judgment tasks have been increasingly used within and across languages as a diagnostic for noun semantics. Overwhelmingly, results show that notionally atomic nouns (Who has more cats?) are counted, while notionally non-atomic nouns (Who has more milk?) are measured by volume. There are two primary outliers to the strict atomicity-tracking pattern. First, some nouns, like furniture, show primarily cardinality-based results in some studies, indicating atomicity, but nevertheless show systematic non-cardinality judgments in other studies, with comparison based instead on value...

External possession and possessor raising

Amy Rose Deal
2017

External possession is a phenomenon where a nominal is syntactically encoded as a verbal dependent but semantically understood as the possessor of one of its co-arguments. While the general pattern is crosslinguistically very common, there is much variation in its precise syntax and semantics. In this chapter I review the classic analyses of external possession as possessor raising and possessor binding. The evidence behind these analyses indicates that raising and binding are indeed each appropriate for certain subtypes of external possession, as is an analysis in terms of movement...

Syntactic ergativity as case discrimination

Amy Rose Deal
2017

A variety of languages with ergative case systems show a ban on A' movement of ergative subjects. Such bans are the most common type of syntactic ergativity. This paper advances an analysis of ergative extraction restrictions as case discrimination—the requirement that the probe driving movement Agree only with a goal bearing a certain case. This analysis puts together the idea that A' movement is driven by heads which bear [EPP] and Agree in an operator-feature with Bobaljik's (2008) proposal that Agree may be possible only for DPs with certain types of case. A ban on ergative A'...

Do all languages make countability distinctions? Evidence from Nez Perce.

Amy Rose Deal
2016

At first glance, Nez Perce looks like a language lacking any correlate of the traditional mass-count distinction. All Nez Perce nouns behave like canonical count nouns in three ways: all nouns combine with numerals without an overt measure phrase, all NPs may host plural features, and all NPs may host adjectives like big and small. I show that Nez Perce nevertheless makes two countability distinctions in noun semantics. A sums-based (cumulativity) distinction is revealed in the interaction of quantifiers with plural; a parts-based (divisiveness) distinction is revealed in...

Reasoning about equivalence in semantic fieldwork

Amy Rose Deal
2015

The job of a fieldworker involves both elicitation from native speakers and interpretation of the data thus elicited. This chapter concerns the process of reasoning by which the bare results of elicitation are interpreted. One hypothesis often used in interpretation is that the input to translation and the output of translation are equivalent in meaning. Another is that, in a particular context, speakers will accept (or reject) sentences expressing the same range of propositions, regardless of what language they are speaking. Both hypotheses can be highly useful in reasoning about...

Ergativity

Amy Rose Deal
2015

Languages show ergativity when they treat transitive subjects distinctly from intransitive ones, treat objects like intransitive subjects, or treat unaccusative subjects unlike unergative and transitive subjects. Ergativity plays a central role in the study of case, agreement, and non-finite clauses. It casts light in addition on the constraints at play in A’ extraction. Across these domains, the investigation of ergativity offers a rich arena of crosslinguistic variation against a backdrop of potential language universals. This chapter surveys both the major proposed universals of...

A note on Nez Perce verb agreement, with sample paradigms.

Amy Rose Deal
2015

The Nez Perce verb agrees with the subject and the object in person and number. This paper considers the full paradigm of verb agreement in transitive clauses, documenting a series of previously undescribed restrictions on the use of agreement affixes as well as extended uses of originally non-agreement morphology as part of the agreement system. Data is drawn from systematic elicitation of four transitive paradigms. Two full paradigms are presented in the appendix.