The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

MorPhun 3/31 - Anton Kukhto (MIT)

Speaker: Anton Kukhto (MIT)
Title: Some thoughts about allomorphy in Russian comparative morphology and Nanosyntax​
Time: Wednesday, March 31st, 5pm – 6:30pm

Abstract: The departing point for this presentation will be a recent paper by Caha et al. (2019; The fine structure of the comparative, Studia Linguistica 73(3): 470–521), which argues for a split structure of the comparative, with two comparative heads instead of one CMPR. The analysis is couched in the framework of Nanosyntax and espouses certain assumptions that are going to be of interest to us, namely that there is no allomorphy beyond the effects of regular morphophonology, no zero exponents, and no lexical class diacritics—all of these arise as a result of non-terminal spell-out, whereby different (classes of) morphemes spell out different amounts of syntactic structure. In this presentation, I’m going to look at the case of comparative forms of adjectives in Russian. First, I’m going to analyse Russian in terms of Caha et al. (2019) to identify the points where this analysis fails, suggesting that the reason for that is the assumption that there is no allomorphy. Second, I’m going to attempt an alternative analysis in Distributed Morphology, which is still very much a work in progress, so thoughts and comments will be much appreciated.