The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling Lunch 10/22 - Kenyon Branan

Speaker: Kenyon Branan (MIT)
Title: Licensing with Case: Evidence from Kikuyu
Time: Thurs 10/22, 12:30-1:45
Place: 32-D461

In Kikuyu, structurally low, post-verbal nominal arguments are subject to a curious restriction: adjacency between the noun head and the verbal complex must not be interrupted by any element. However, this restriction holds only when the relevant nominal is the only argument in the post-verbal domain—-when there are two or more nominals in the post-verbal domain, none are subject to this restriction. In this talk, I argue that this can be explained straightforwardly in a configurational Case system, where Case may be assigned between two sufficiently local DPs. I also discuss the implications of this for two recent approaches to Case and Licensing: Levin (2015) and Baker (2015). These data constitute a strong argument against one of the core arguments in Levin (2015); namely, that Case, regardless of how it is assigned, does not have a licensing function.