School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Realizing Syntax

18 February 2020

Time: 9:00 - 10:00pm
Speaker: Dr. Bronwyn Bjorkman (Queen's University)
Venue: Bancroft Building 3.23

This talk looks at interactions among linearization, prosody, and vocabulary insertion, focusing on cases of verb doubling that appear to be motivated not by syntactic movement, but by the need for an otherwise-unsupported clitic to have a host.
Drawing on examples of verb doubling in Ingush (Nakh-Dagestanian) and Breton (Celtic), Bjorkman argues first that the linearization of syntactic structures is accomplished via the interaction of ranked and violable constraints, as in OT, rather than via a deterministic linearization algorithm of the type often assumed in syntax. Second, she argues that linearization and prosodification proceed in parallel, allowing verb doubling as a trade-off between prosodic well-formedness (the need of a clitic for a host) and optimal linearization—but that this evaluation occurs prior to both Vocabulary Insertion and the subsequent competition of segmental phonology. 
The final sections of the talk discuss the implications of this model for doubling more generally, and more particularly for our ability to explain the fact that certain movement configurations appear to lead to doubling in some languages but not in others. Bjorkman will discuss verb doubling in predicate focus, clitic doubling, and several other instances of apparent multiple realization.