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Constraints on subjects: an optimality theoretic analysis

Descriptive

Genre (authority = marcgt)
thesis
Language
LanguageTerm (authority = ISO 639-3:2007); (type = text)
English
PhysicalDescription
InternetMediaType
application/pdf
Extent
126 p.
TypeOfResource
Text
TitleInfo
Title
Constraints on subjects: an optimality theoretic analysis
Identifier (type = ROA)
148
Identifier (type = hdl)
http://hdl.rutgers.edu/1782.1/rucore00000002165.ETD.000064814
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/T31835DR
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Linguistics
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Grammar, Comparative and general--Noun phrase
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Grammar, Comparative and general--Case
Abstract (type = abstract)
This dissertation argues for an Optimality Theoretic analysis of null subjecthood, subject inversion, agreement and structural case assignment. It does so on the basis of the hypothesis that an analysis in terms of the interaction of violable, conflicting constraints adds to the deductive structure of linguistic explanations while simplifying the definition of the relevant syntactic modules.

Among the most relevant results is a unified analysis of the crosslinguistic and language-internal distribution of null and inverted subjects. An initial investigation shows that subjects are null when referring to antecedents with topic status, and inverted when focused, a result formalized through the constraints DROPTOPIC and ALIGNFOCUS. The interaction between these constraints and the constraints SUBJECT and PARSE, favoring subjects in preverbal subject position, determines the distribution of null subjects language-internally and crosslinguistically, eliminating the need for an independent pro-drop parameter (Grimshaw & Samek-Lodovici 1995).

A second result concerns expletives, whose language specific inventories are shown to follow to a high degree from the interaction between the above constraints and FULL-INT, a constraint requiring that all constituents be interpreted. This shows that expletive inventories can be derived by way of grammar, with no recourse to lexical stipulation (Prince & Smolensky 1993, Grimshaw 1995, Grimshaw & Samek-Lodovici 1995). The analysis also predicts the universal ban on overt expletives in null subject languages.

A similar result is pursued with respect to agreement, which is derived by means of three general agreement constraint-schemata.

Finally, the position of subjects and their case assignment configuration in Italian declaratives, gerundives and subjunctives are derived from the interaction between CASEGOV, a constraint requiring case assignment under proper government, and the other constraints of UG. Once reranked, the same constraints derive declaratives in Arabic and infinitivals with overt subjects in English and Portuguese, with no appeal to a parametric account of abstract case assignment.

Crucially, the analysis of crosslinguistic variation consistently turns out to be closely tied with the analysis of language-internal variation, as predicted by an Optimality Theoretic approach to Syntax.
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Samek-Lodovici
NamePart (type = given)
Vieri
Role
RoleTerm (authority = marcrelator); (type = text)
Author
Name (type = corporate)
NamePart
Rutgers University
Role
RoleTerm (authority = marcrelator); (type = text)
Degree grantor
OriginInfo
DateCreated (encoding = w3cdtf); (keyDate = yes); (qualifier = exact)
1996
DateOther (encoding = w3cdtf); (type = degree)
1996
RelatedItem (type = host)
TitleInfo
Title
Rutgers Optimality Archive
Identifier (type = local)
rucore00000002165
RelatedItem (type = host)
TitleInfo
Title
Graduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Identifier (type = local)
rucore19991600001
Location
PhysicalLocation (authority = marcorg); (displayLabel = Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
NjNbRU
Name (type = corporate)
NamePart
Graduate School-New Brunswick
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
school
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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Rights

RightsDeclaration (AUTHORITY = GS); (ID = rulibRdec0006)
The author owns the copyright to this work
Copyright
Status
Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
RightsHolder (type = personal)
Name
FamilyName
Samek-Lodovici
GivenName
Vieri
Role
Copyright holder
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Technical

ContentModel
ETD
MimeType (TYPE = file)
application/pdf
MimeType (TYPE = container)
application/x-tar
FileSize (UNIT = bytes)
1075200
Checksum (METHOD = SHA1)
906ea6de0620b3a39b51824294edda0a9f0be44d
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