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The role of case-marked noun phrases in clause structure building

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Title: The role of case-marked noun phrases in clause structure building
Author(s): Lee, Wooseung
Director of Research: Yoon, James
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Yoon, James
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Benmamoun, Elabbas; Lasersohn, Peter; Arregui-Urbina, Karlos
Department / Program: Linguistics
Discipline: Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Case-marked Noun Phrases Clause Structure Building Null Predicates Null Arguments NP Coordinations Right Node Raising Right- Dislocation
Abstract: The goal of this thesis is to investigate the pervasive role of case-markers in the morpho-syntax of various constructions in heavily dependent-marking languages such as Korean and Japanese. I show that Case plays a special role in Korean, unlike in other languages (e.g. German) by comparing the morphosyntax (and prosody and interpretation) of two types of nominal coordinations that are differentiated by the presence/absence of the case-marker in the initial conjunct. I then develop a novel system, which I call the “Incremental C-selectional Combinatoric Analysis”, in which case markers or other combinatoric markers are crucially implicated in the structure building. I also demonstrate how some of the traditional issues revolving around the so-called null categories – both null arguments and null predicates – are resolved; null predicates are licensed strictly by syntax, while null arguments are not syntactically licensed. Rather, missing arguments mean the structural absence of the arguments. The constructions that I am focusing on in this investigation include different types of Noun Phrase Coordinations, Right Node Raising (RNR) Constructions, Coordination under Right Node Raising (CoRNR) Constructions, Null Argument Constructions and Right-Dislocation Constructions in Korean/Japanese. First, I discuss how the null predicate is licensed and gets interpreted in coordination contexts such as Type A/B nominal coordinations, RNR as well as CoRNR constructions. The null predicate is syntactically licensed by the (combined) case-marked NPs in the initial conjunct. The contents of this null predicate are cataphorically resolved when the overt predicate in the final conjunct is encountered. I then discuss the syntax of Null Argument Constructions. Unlike the proposals made so far, I propose that null arguments mean structural absence of the arguments. Specifically, missing elements are not syntactically projected at all. Finally, I analyze Right-Dislocation Constructions as bi-clausal, which are composed of a host clause and an appendix clause containing a null predicate. The null predicate in the appendix clause receives anaphoric interpretation by being co-indexed with the overt predicate in the host clause. Before closing with some implications of the proposed analysis, I discuss how to handle sentences with some case-drop or without case-markers at all. I propose that they are asyntactically formed.
Issue Date: 2010-01-06
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/14749
Rights Information: Copyright 2009 Wooseung Lee
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-01-06
2012-01-07
Date Deposited: December 2
 

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