The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling-Lunch 11/1 - Ivona Kučerová

Speaker: Ivona Kučerová (McMaster University)
Title: Spell-out-dependent Case assignment and split ergativity
Date/Time: Thursday, Nov 1, 12:30-1:45p
Location: 32-D461

In my previous work (Kučerová 2011) I proposed that the presence or absence of what is often analyzed as dependent Case (ACC/ERG) depends on the size of the syntactic structure which spells out such a “dependent” Case. The actual case assignment reflects which heads are strong phase heads and as such constitute a Spell-out domain.This talk elaborates on the idea of Spell-out dependency and extends it to the domain of split ergativity. If we apply this approach to morphologically and syntactically ergative languages (Bittner and Hale 1996), the spell-out-dependent hypothesis predicts that there should be three distinct types of split ergative systems, a prediction which is confirmed by the descriptive generalization in Coon 2012. A further prediction is that case splits should not be restricted to ergative systems but should occur in accusative systems as well. As we will see, this prediction is borne out as well.