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Word order and case in Kashmiri
Bhatt, Rakesh Mohan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s)
Yoon, Hye Suk James
Department of Study
Degree Granting Institution
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"This dissertation explores the word order in Kashmiri, focussing mainly on the positions where subjects and objects are licensed. One important respect in which the grammar of Kashmiri language differs from all other Indo-Aryan languages is the appearance of the finite verb in the clause second position in declarative matrix clauses and ki (subordinate) clauses. This ""verb-second"" phenomenon that we notice in Kashmiri is found elsewhere only in the languages belonging to the Germanic family (minus English). The problem that arises is the following: what is the structure of verb-second clauses? The standard account of Germanic analyzes matrix as well as subordinate clauses as Complementizer Phrases (CPs)--verb moves to Comp accounting for verb second; in subordinate clauses when the Comp is occupied by an overt complementizer the verb has no place to move, hence no verb second (cf. Haider and Prinzhorn 1986). Such an account does not leave any room for variation in verb second found in languages like Kashmiri, Yiddish, and Icelandic. In these languages verb second is found even in those finite complement clauses where there is an overt complementizer. Working within the Principles and Parameters framework (Chomsky 1981, 1986a), where UG is assumed to offer a range of principles and options which can be parameterized in different languages, we develop a model of V2, which restricts the availability of variation in verb-second languages to the possibilities offered by it."
Another issue that is closely associated with the verb second phenomenon is the correlation between verb movement and nominative Case assignment to subject. This motivation for verb movement is untenable for Kashmiri verb second simply because not all subjects in Kashmiri are nominative--dative subjects of psych predicates and ergative subjects of perfective transitive predicates pose a serious challenge to any account of verb second motivated by Case-theoretic requirements. The assignment of nominative Case in Kashmiri cannot be tied to either Comp or Infl. In dative and ergative subject constructions the subject NP is non-nominative whereas the object is nominative. Such data challenge some current assumptions of the G-B framework, particularly the uniqueness of the subject position in a clause, and the claim that subjects stand in a privileged agreement relation with the verb. We present an account of Case in Kashmiri which is independent of the verb second phenomenon; an account that (i) explains how lexically-assigned (dative/ergative) Case on the subject NP and nominative on the object NP is accomplished; (ii) provides an explanatory account of verb agreement; and (iii) motivates movement of lexically Case-assigned NPs to the subject position.