The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

LFRG 5/11 - Zuzanna Fuchs

Speaker: Zuzanna Fuchs (Harvard)
Time: Wednesday, May 11, 1-2pm
Place: 32-D831
Title: Topichood and split DPs in Georgian: movement or base-generation?

Discontinuous (or split) DPs have been reported in several languages, including Polish, Russian, German, Warlpiri, Mayan Yucatec, and others. In these constructions, material external to the DP can intervene between a head noun and one or more of its modifiers. While the null hypothesis for split DPs is subextraction out of the DP, a range of evidence for Georgian (adjective scope reconstruction, Principle C binding effects, and more) appears to argue against such an analysis for the Georgian data, suggesting instead that one part of the split may be base-generated in a topic position. Additionally, case concord interacts with split DPs in Georgian in a peculiar way that existing accounts of split DPs cannot account for: (1) for some modifiers, case concord is ungrammatical in continuous DPs but obligatory in split DPs and (2) the dative and accusative cases on modifiers are null in continuous DPs but are realized as -s in split DPs — a form restricted to the dative and accusative on head nouns in continuous DPs. In this talk, I present the arguments against subextraction for Georgian DPs and give an NP-ellipsis account of the case concord facts.