The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling-Lunch 9/15 - Norvin Richards (MIT)

Speaker: Norvin W Richards (MIT)
Title: Deriving Contiguity
Date/Time: Thursday, September 15/12:30pm-1:50pm
Location: 32-D461

Richards (2016) presents an account of the distribution of various types of overt movement and linear adjacency requirements. One of the central claims I make there is that the construction of prosodic structure begins in the narrow syntax, and that the syntax can be motivated by prosodic considerations to perform syntactic movement operations.

Central to the account is a claim that Agree and selection relations must affect prosody in certain ways. I claim that just in structures involving Agree or selection, the general laws governing the mapping of syntax onto prosody are overridden by a special condition (called Generalized Contiguity) which dictates that the participants in Agree or selection must share a prosodic domain of a certain kind.

In this talk I will review some of the results of Richards (2016), and then try to show that these results can be derived without making any special stipulations about the pros/odic representation of Agree or selection relations. A modified version of Match Theory (Selkirk 2009, 2011, Elfner 2012, 2015, Clemens 2014, Bennett, Elfner, and McCloskey 2016), which makes general claims about how dominance relations in syntax are mapped onto prosody, turns out to be sufficient, if paired with approaches to Agree and selection that posit multidominance structures resulting from Agree relations (Frampton and Gutmann 2000, Sag et al 2003, Pesetsky and Torrego 2007, among others). The resulting theory is more restrictive than the one in Richards (2016).