The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling-lunch 10/30 - Norvin Richards

Please join us for this week’s ling lunch:

Norvin Richards
“Beyond Strength and Weakness 2: EPP and head-movement”
Thursday, Oct. 30

In an earlier paper, “Beyond Strength and Weakness”, I attempted to develop a theory that could predict whether wh-movement would be overt or covert in a given language, on the basis of observable properties of the language’s word order and prosody. This talk is the sequel to that paper; I will try to predict whether languages should exhibit EPP effects or not, and (time permitting) how far their verbs move, again on the basis of observable properties. As in the earlier paper, the goal will be to do away with syntactic diacritics like ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ (and, for that matter, ‘EPP’), by allowing the syntax to make more direct reference than usual to the phonological representation. We will see more evidence bearing on the nature of that reference, helping us to understand how much syntax knows about phonology.