Volume two

The co-editors of the second volume are Ur Shlonsky and Tabea Ihsane.



Enoch O. Aboh
ACLC University of Amsterdam /Université de Genčve
(Enoch.Aboh@lettres.unige.ch; enoch.aboh@hum.uva.nl)

This paper accounts for the distribution of the verb, the tense, and the aspect markers in Gbe in terms of the interaction between object shift and verb movement. Under such a dynamic view, we demonstrate that the absence of inflectional morphology in a language is not synonymous of lack of V-to-I movement. Instead, we suggest that V-to-I movement is not uniquely motivated by the so-called strong INFL whereby the strength of INFL determines some inflectional ending on the verb. Alternatively, we argue that V-to-I movement is driven by the strong features of INFL which need not be overtly realised as inflectional or agreement affixes in the language.

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Yves-Ferdinand Bouvier

This paper would clarify the terminology of negation, which is not uniform and not always adequate. We think that a methodic reformulation of some basic definitions, guided by unequivocal principles, may constitute a helpful theoretical tool to clear up some incoherence determined by a confusion of levels of analysis. Particularly illuminating for an overall understanding of negation is the difference between its uses (metalinguistic vs. logical) and its levels (local vs. global scope).

Section 2 examines the metalinguistic negation, which is claimed to express a limited scope denoted by a distinctive stress, allowing it to apply to every level of grammatical analysis. Section 3 examines the logical negation, which is claimed to be in act either at the morphological level, or at various syntactic levels; within the syntactic levels, we argue for the need to draw a sharp distinction between local and global scope, depending on the possibility to insert a scope marker that displays visible effects even when devoid of phonological realization. Section 4 is a succinct summary made up of two synoptic tables.

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Tabea Ihsane (Tabea.Ihsane@lettres.unige.ch) and Genoveva Puskás (Genoveva.Puskas@lettres.unige.ch)

In this paper, we distinguish the notions of specificity and definiteness using a feature related account. The observation that definite DPs are not necessarily specific leads us to argue that these properties are represented by two different features, [specific] and [definite], encoded on different functional heads: the specificity feature appears on Top0 and the definiteness feature on Def0. The projection hosting the [+/-definite] feature, labelled Definite Phrase, corresponds to the clausal Finiteness Phrase, the lowest projection of the left periphery, whereas the projection endowed with the [+specific] feature, labelled Topic Phrase, corresponds to the clausal Topic Phrase, in that it hosts information which has already been introduced in the discourse. In specific DPs, be they definite or indefinite, the specificity feature is checked by the article which moves to the nominal TopP. Other elements, like demonstratives, which contribute to the specific reading of DPs, may also move to the specificity projection. We further show that possessive modifiers in Hungarian are not specific but that they can move to another functional projection of the nominal left periphery, the Focus Phrase, to check their [+focus] feature. Hungarian also provides evidence that the structure contains yet another projection dominating the Topic Phrase, the Determiner Phrase which is parallel to the clausal Force Phrase. Thus the structure proposed for the nominal left periphery corresponds to the clausal one.

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Evidence from Swiss-German which sheds light on Greek Determiner Spreading

Thomas Leu (Thomas.Leu@lettres.unige.ch)

In Swiss-German the definite article appears to have to different forms depending on the presence versus absence of a modifier. This is best analyzed as a featural enrichement due to the presence of a functional head (M) hosting the modifier in its Spec (Cinque (1993) a.o.). The close relationship between D and such an M is also supported by phenomena in Swedish, Bulgarian, French, and Greek (etc.).

I review these phenomena and situate M with respect to AP, DP and NP, in a way as to account for the data presented. Then I note some points regarding the analysis of Greek Determiner Spreading (DS) proposed by Alexiadou & Wilder (1998), and outline a (single DP) alternative, unifying the cases of definites and indefinites.

In the final section I sketch a way in which the analysis can be extended to allow a unified treatment of the congnitive hierarchy of modifier classes, (apparent) violations of the latter, as well as restrictions as to the figurative use of adjectives. Support for my speculations comes from the fact that the phenomena and variations, viewed this way, appear to be reducible to the lexicon, as we would expect.

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Hugues Péters

This paper set within the Minimalist Program framework (Chomsky 1995) argues that the contrast between argument type Raising of negative quantifiers and Long Distance Preposing of negative adverbials in French receives a straightforward explanation once minimalist assumptions, as well as adequate assumptions on negation and on the structure of CP are adopted. I propose that a tensed verb in French is potentially endowed with polarity features that must be eliminated before LF, and I assume that negative quantifiers and adverbs are potentially endowed with inherent features of negation capable of checking the negative features of the verb. As far as the structure of CP is concerned, I adopt Rizzi's (1997) hypothesis of a complex CP that contains a unique Focus projection. The contrast ultimately reduces to the elimination or not of intermediate trace of argument movement and to the delaying of the checking of weak features until LF.

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Matthew Whelpton

This paper discusses the external syntax of a factive modifier infinitive in English. This infinitive, the Telic Clause, is related to more familiar infinitives which express the intention of an agent (Rationale Clause) or the purpose of an object (Purpose Clause) but it is in fact distinct both in semantics and syntax. Data are offered from a wide range of constructions to show that the Telic Clause is in fact a sentence-peripheral construction: this includes evidence from negative and interrogative scope, focus, negative polarity licensing, Principle C effects, control, and wh-extraction. The evidence is used to evaluate four competing theories of the external syntax of modification, the first of which is incompatible with Kayne´s LCA and the rest of which support it: first, the classic right-adjunction analysis; second, a simple rightward embedding analysis; third, a conjunction analysis; and fourth, a complex rightward embedding analysis which revises standard assumptions about the projection of the sentence as an extended projection of the verb. Only the right-adjunction and complex rightward embedding analyses are found to be compatible with the range of data presented and, by Ockham´s razor, the right-adjunction analysis is given preference.

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