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Title:Subjects And Subjecthood In Nepali: An Analysis Of Nepali Clause Structure And Its Challenges To Relational Grammar And Government & Binding
Author(s):Wallace, William David
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:Both Early and Modern Nepali use a variety of nonbasic clause structures, including dative-subject (inversion) clauses, obligational (gerundive) clauses, passive clauses, and, in Early Nepali, ergative clauses. The properties of basic clause subjects are split in these clauses between two NPs--the 'logical', nonnominative subject and the grammatical nominative subject. This distribution can be explained by assuming that an NP which controls subject properties shares some functional or configurational feature with basic clause subjects. The acquisition of subject properties by ergative agents has effected basic clause syntax in the Nepali perfective tense.
In a Relational Grammar of Nepali, subject properties are of two types: morphological (word order, verb agreement, case assignment, nominalizations) and syntactic (reflexivization, conjunctive participle control, EQUI control, conjunction reduction, EQUI deletion, subject-raising, object-raising). NPs are assigned morphological properties through hierarchical processing; the highest ranking term relation in the clause controls the subject property.
Syntactic properties are controlled absolutely by a specific class of NPs. Where a complement clause contains no final 1, the complement clause itself serves as the NP controlling a syntactic property in the matrix clause. The process of morphological clause union supports this analysis. The Nepali data thus show that nonbasic clauses may be analyzed as 'subjectless', i.e., having no final 1, rather than 'impersonal' with a dummy NP as the clause final 1.
The Government and Binding framework provides interesting insights into Nepali clause structure. All nonbasic clauses can be analyzed as having an empty category in the subject position, while other NPs occur as VP complements. However, certain principles of GB may be sensitive to both configurational and functional properties of NPs. At certain levels of the grammar, two NPS differently situated and functionally distinct cannot be distinguished by certain grammatical processes. Thus the Nepali data show that modifications must be made in the GB binding theory and control theory.
Issue Date:1985
Description:684 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8521899
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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