The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 11/1 - Yusuke Imanishi

Speaker: Yusuke Imanishi
Title: How to Merge a Possessor WH in Kaqchikel (Mayan): Null Resumption and Non-Uniform Merge
Time/Date: Tuesday, Nov 1, 1-2p
Location: 32-D461

This is a practice talk for NELS 42.

In this talk I will claim that a possessor WH in Kaqchikel undergoes non-uniform Merge: One type of the possessor WH is External-Merged into Spec-CP, while the other type undergoes movement to Spec-CP via Internal-Merge. If this claim is correct, it can be argued that a possessor WH in Kaqchikel takes on different forms, depending on how it is merged: it is sensitive to the manner of Merge in a similar manner to the complementizer system in Modern Irish (McCloskey 1979, 1990, 2002, 2006, 2009).

Step 1: I will support this proposal by looking at extraction out of PP.

Step 2: It will be shown that the proposed non-uniform Merge of the possessor WH can make correct predictions about independent syntactic properties of the two wh phrases. It will be also demonstrated that Kaqchikel provides further evidence that the chain formation including movement and resumptive chains must be successive-cyclic and that UG allows for mixed chains of movement and resumption in a single non-local dependency.

Step 3: To explain why the resumptive strategy is only possible in a possessor position in the language, I will argue that extractability obeys the Agreement Hierarchy (Bobaljik 2008).