The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling-Lunch 11/2 - Asia Pietraszko (UConn)

Speaker: Asia Pietraszko (UConn)
Title: Obligatory clause nominalization in Ndebele
Date and time: Thursday November 2, 12:30-1:50pm
Location: 32-D461

Clausal DP shells (CPs embedded directly in a DP) have been argued to have a different distribution than bare CPs (e.g. in-situ vs derived sentential subjects), which in turn led to treatments of clausal DP shell as a last resort phenomenon (e.g. Hartman 2012). In this talk, I present evidence for the existence of obligatory clausal DP shell. In Ndebele, a Bantu language of Zimbabwe, DP-contained CPs appear in non-derived positions, rendering the last resort status of a clausal DP shell unlikely in this language. Furthermore, I show that a DP shell must appear even in contexts where it is problematic, namely in N-complement clauses and relative clauses (Ndebele does not allow adnominals of category D). Instead of “dropping” the DP-shell in those contexts, extra functional structure is necessary to combine the clause with the head noun.