The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 9/19 - Keely New (MIT)

Speaker: Keely New (MIT)
Title: Voice and the variable position of auxiliaries in colloquial Jakartan Indonesian
Time: Tuesday, September 19th, 1pm – 2pm
Location: 32-D461

Abstract: Colloquial Jakartan Indonesian (CJI) displays a voice system typical of Austronesian languages: in each clause there is one argument (the “pivot”) that occupies the sentence-initial position, and the choice of this argument affects verbal morphology as well as the word order of other arguments. The pivot is also the only argument that may undergo A’-extraction (the pivot-only restriction). In this talk, I discuss a potential violation of the pivot-only restriction in CJI and show how it presents a challenge for standard, locality-based approaches. I argue that this violation is only apparent by proposing that there are multiple position positions for auxiliaries in the structure.