The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 5/11: Mitcho Erlewine

Please join us for the last Syntax Square of the semester* on Tuesday, 1-2PM. Mitcho Erlewine will present “Independent Dependency and the Mandarin b? Comparative.”

SPEAKER: Mitcho Erlewine
TIME: Tuesday, 5/11, 1-2PM
PLACE: 32-D461
TITLE: Independent Dependency and the Mandarin b? Comparative

Most recent analyses of the Mandarin b? comparative have posited a syntax with only one copy of the predicate in the derivation (Xiang 2003, Erlewine 2007, Lin 2009). In this talk I will argue that this assumption cannot explain a range of comparative data. I refer to this new hypothesis — that the Mandarin comparative must have two copies of the predicate, one for each of the compared items — as Independent Dependency. We will also touch on the phenomena of internal argument comparison with a restricted distribution that no theory on the market can currently account for. I will then hone in on two analyses — an ellipsis approach and a multidominance approach — which are compatible with Independent Dependency and show that they also give a natural account for the internal argument comparatives.

*Stay tuned for Syntax Square: Summer Edition!