The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Colloquium 2/18 - Bronwyn Bjorkman (Queen’s University)

Speaker: Bronwyn Bjorkman (Queen’s University)
Title: Verb doubling and the architecture of realization
Time: Friday, February 18th, 3:30pm – 5pm
Place: 32-155 or Zoom

Abstract: In this talk, I look at verb doubling phenomena and how they bear on questions concerning the architecture of post-syntactic realization, particularly the timing of linearization, prosodification, and verb doubling. In addition to widely discussed cases of verb doubling that arise from movement (with more than one copy of a moved verb being pronounced), I consider cases of verb doubling in Ingush (Nakh-Dagestanian) and Breton (Celtic) that appear instead to be motivated entirely by the need of an otherwise-unsupported clitic for a host. Comparing these classes of verb doubling, I make two related arguments. First, the profile of verb doubling is best accounted for in a model of linearization that involves a constraint-based evaluation of candidates, rather than a deterministic linearization algorithm. Second, linearization proceeds in parallel with the mapping from syntactic hierarchy to prosodic structure, but prior to Vocabulary Insertion, allowing doubling to arise as a trade-off between optimal linearization and prosodic well-formedness. Finally, I discuss the implications of the proposed architecture for multiple exponence in morphology, for the somewhat different typology of multiple copy realization as a consequence of nominal movement, and for broader questions concerning whether syntactic structure is visible to various proposed post-syntactic operations, or to Vocabulary Insertion itself.