den Dikken & O’Neill,
G. Kiss & Szigetvári,
editors: Mark Newson & Péter Szigetvári (editorial note)
This paper presents an outlook on the syntax of Luhya sentences in which the equivalents of ‘how’ and ‘thus’ show subject agreement marking on the adverbial element. While prima facie unusual, we argue that this agreement pattern requires no modification of any standard assumptions regarding the Agree relation. The adverbial is treated as a predicate of a separate clause, linked paratactically to the main clause, with a silent pronoun coindexed with the subject of the main clause. This analysis accounts for the Luhya data, makes novel and accurate predictions, and carries over to a rarely discussed construction in Germanic.
keywords: ‘how’-questions, agreement, parataxis, asyndeton, locative inversion
This paper examines the factors influencing stress-placement before the -able suffix. These include the the status of the stem (free or bound), a full (tertiary-stressed) vowel at the end of a stem, syncope, gliding, and trisyllabic shortening. Based on corpus evidence, I argue that the treatment of -able either as a categorically stress-neutral suffix or as a categorically stress-placing suffix is untenable.
keywords: morphophonology, variable stress, stress-placement, suffixation
Old English exemplifies a number of rounds of deletion of the high vowels, some of which have been traditionally described as the result of both syncope and apocope, or a combination of these, dependent on syllable weight. In this paper, high vowel deletion (or syncope) and high vowel apocope are both analysed as the result of templatic deletion of *i/u of pre-Old English: the two vowels were deleted if they failed to attach to a CVCV template (word < *wordu ‘words’ vs scipu < *skipu ‘ships’, firen < firenu ‘crimes’ vs nītenu < nītinu ‘animals’). The analysis is couched in CV phonology. One of the words that opens up a window onto this period of Old English is the neuter plural
keywords: Old English, high vowel deletion, high vowel apocope, high vowel syncopation, template, dative plural -um, syllable weight
Most current laryngeal analyses use two melodic elements (or distinctive features) to create two-way laryngeal contrasts in obstruents: |L| (or [voice]) in voicing languages like Hungarian and |H| (or [spread glottis]) in aspirating languages such as English. In this paper, I argue that |H| is enough to distinguish the two sets of obstruents in both language types and that languages only differ in the phonological processes operating on |H|, with a potential cross-linguistic variation in the phonetic realization of the obstruent series. I also show how binary-contrast systems can be categorized in this alternative analysis.
keywords: laryngeal properties, phonological contrast, phonetic variation, laryngeal assimilation, language typology
There is an almost unanimous agreement among those concerned that English has clusters like [sp], [ft], [kt] (in, for example, sport, after, packed/act). Based on theoretical considerations, we contend that this is not the case, these words contain [sb], [fd], [kd], and [ɡt], respectively. In this paper we report on an experiment showing that the acoustic properties of the plosive clusters in the strings acting and packed in are different in a statistically significant way. The relative length of the vowel in acting is greater than in packed in, the voicing duration is longer in the cluster in acting, and VOT is larger before the /i/ in acting. This suggests that the former cluster is /ɡt/, while the latter is /kd/.
keywords: English, obstruent clusters, laryngeal specification, fortis/lenis
The Numeral-Noun Construction (NNC) is a cross-linguistic phenomenon involving an apparent mismatch between the numeral and the nominal complement. In some languages, it may simply be that after a numeral the noun remains in the singular. In other languages, such as Russian or Estonian, a case other than the nominative appears after the numeral. This paper looks specifically at Finnish using Slavic languages and Estonian as points of comparison. The paper identifies differences between the NNC in Finnish and in other languages and endeavors to account for the occurrence of the partitive case after the numeral. The paper concludes in a fashion similar to Pesetsky (2013) that the Finnish partitive is in fact the lexical form of the noun and not a ‘real’ case. In so concluding, the paper discusses that the partitive case in Finnish is in fact a caseless form of the noun straight from the lexicon. Evidence taken from Differential Object Marking (DOM) languages is used to argue for presence of caseless arguments and complements in Finno-Ugric languages, as well as in others. This caseless nominal is also argued to be the argument of prepositions in Finnish, using the case of the Hungarian ‘dressed’ prepositions as a similar occurrence of caselessness in nominal arguments of prepositions.
keywords: Numeral-Noun Construction, numerals, case, partitive, Differential Object Marking, caseless, Finno-Ugric, Slavic