The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

MorPhun 2/26 - Filipe Hisao Kobayashi (MIT)

Speaker: Filipe Hisao Kobayashi (MIT)
Title: Guseva & Weisser (2018), “Postsyntactic reordering in the Mari nominal domain”
Time: Wednesday, February 26th, 5pm – 6:30pm
Location: 32-D831

Abstract: We argue that the unusual morphological template in the noun phrase of Meadow Mari should be derived on the basis of a simple, semantically transparent syntax. In accordance with the Mirror Principle, the analysis we propose derives the actual surface order of morphemes in Mari by means of two postsyntactic reordering operations: A lowering operation and a metathesis operation. Evidence for this account comes from a process called Suspended Affixation. This process is known to delete the right edges of non-final conjuncts under recoverability. We show however, that Suspended Affixation in Mari does not apply to the right edges of surface orders. Rather, the right edges of an intermediate postsyntactic representation are relevant. Suspended Affixation applies after some but not all postsyntactic operations have applied. Thus, the account we present makes a strong argument for a stepwise derivation of the actual surface forms and thus for a strongly derivational architecture of the postsyntactic module.