The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 5/5 - Philip Shushurin (NYU/MIT)

Speaker: Philip Shushurin (NYU/MIT)
Title: Syntax of NP-internal possessors in Russian
Time: Tuesday, May 5th, 1pm – 2pm

Abstract: Genitive phrases with possessor semantics are found at the right periphery of Russian NPs.

(1)zarjadka dlja ajfona Dimy charger for iPhone Dima.gen `Dima’s iPhone charger’

(2)*zarjadka Dimy dlja ajfona charger Dima.gen for iPhone int. `Dima’s iPhone charger’

(3) *Dimy zarjadka dlja ajfona Dima.gen charger for iPhone
int. `Dima’s iPhone charger’

I suggest that genitive possessor arguments are right-adjoined to nominal structures. I discuss properties of non-concording external arguments in Russian Noun Phrases, such as Instrumental Agents and Dative Goals and propose that such arguments are best analyzed as adjuncts which can either left- or right-adjoin as long as they linearly follow the head noun. I suggest an account of this generalization, suggesting that the LCA holds for concording phrases, while all remaining unordered pairs of nodes are linearized postsyntactically, in a uniform fashion. I argue against Pereltsvaig (2015) who analyzes Instrumental Agents as verbal specifiers, showing that her analysis fails to derive the correct distribution of attested word order permutations in ditransitive eventive nominalizations. I show how the proposed account can be further extended to derive certain well-known crosslinguistic tendencies in word order in N-initial languages, such as Adjacency Effects (Adger 2012) and PP-Peripherality (Belk and Neeleman 2017).