Nicoll, Katherine Ilia (2015) Provocative feature deletion: a syntactic model of agreement alternations in noun incorporation contexts. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
The relationship between noun incorporation (NI) and the agreement alternations that occur in such contexts (NI Transitivity Alternations) remains inadequately understood. Three interpretations of these alternations (Baker, Aranovich & Golluscio 2005; Mithun 1984; Rosen 1989) are shown to be undermined by foundational or mechanical issues. I propose a syntactic model, adopting Branigan's (2011) interpretation of NI as the result of “provocative” feature valuation, which triggers generation of a copy of the object that subsequently merges inside the verb. Provocation triggers a reflexive Refine operation that deletes duplicate features from chains, making them interpretable for Transfer. NI Transitivity Alternations result from variant deletion preferences exhibited during Refine. I argue that the NI contexts discussed (Generic NI, Partial NI and Double Object NI) result from different restrictions on phonetic and semantic identity in chain formation. This provides us with a consistent definition of NI Transitivity Alternations across contexts, as well as a new typology that distinguishes NI contexts, rather than incorporating languages.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Includes bibliographical references (pages 95-96).|
|Keywords:||syntax, incorporation, agreement, provocation|
|Department(s):||Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||Grammar, Comparative and general--Noun; Grammar, Comparative and general--Transitivity; Grammar, Comparative and general--Agreement; Grammar, Comparative and general--Syntax|
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