The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Extended visit and mini course: Martina Martinovic (University of Florida)

We are delighted to announce that Martina Martinovic will be here for an extended visit, during which she will give a mini course in two parts, details below.

Speaker: Martina Martinovic (University of Florida)
Time: Wednesday, November 28th, 1pm-2:30pm; Thursday, November 29th, 12:30pm-2pm
Place: 32-D461

It is a long-standing observation that syntactic features can be differently distributed over the functional spine. The strong cartographic approach commonly follows the “one property, one feature, one head” principle (e.g., Kayne 2005; Cinque and Rizzi 2010), however, the reality of cross-linguistic variation has made it clear that the bundling of features often cannot be achieved via traditional syntactic processes (such as head movement). Various bundling parameters and other mechanisms have been proposed to account for the variation in feature distribution (e.g. the “Split-IP” parameter, Thráinsson 1996, Bobaljik & Thráinsson 1998; the “Voice-bundling” parameter, Pylkänen 2002, 2008; feature “scattering”, Giorgi & Pianos 1996; etc.). Particularly popular in the last decade have been modifications of the Feature Inheritance model  (Chomsky 2005, 2008; Richards 2007, 2011), proposing that Feature Inheritance is obviated under certain conditions (e.g. Ouali 2006, Fortuny 2008, Legate 2011, Gallego 2014, Aldridge 2015, 1017).

In this mini-course we will focus on the properties of the clause-peripheral layers, commonly known as CP and TP, the cross-linguistic variation in how features traditionally associated with C and T are distributed over functional heads, and how this advances our understanding of how syntactic structures are built. The bulk of the data will come from Wolof and will explore the Head-Splitting approach developed in Martinović 2015. We will discuss recent extensions of this proposal (e.g. Erlewine 2018), and other data that might be amenable to similar treatment, with the goal of identifying a possible unified approach.