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The syntax of Armenian: chains and the auxiliary

Tamrazian, A.; (1994) The syntax of Armenian: chains and the auxiliary. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to provide an analysis for the behaviour of the auxiliary verb in Focussed, Interrogative, Indefinite and Negative structures in Armenian. In chapter 1, a brief introduction is given to the properties of the language in general including word order, island effects and the data concerning auxiliary 'movement' . The auxiliary in Armenian always follows the focussed or Wh-Phrase. Negation and indefinites also trigger auxiliary movement in this language. In declaratives the auxiliary follows the verb. On the other hand there is evidence to show that elements which are followed by the auxiliary are in situ. The question that arises here is how can the auxiliary appear on these elements if they are in situ? The answer to this question is given in the next chapter. The Armenian data are then compared to some data from Basque which seems to have similar focus- and Wh-constructions. It is then argued that the analysis given by Laka for the Basque data in 'Negation in Syntax' cannot account for the Armenian data because Basque has overt focus movement whereas Armenian has only auxiliary movement. In chapter 2, Chomsky's minimalist theory and Brody's Lexico-Logical Form theory are summarized. It is then argued that by using Brody's LLF theory, the Armenian data can be explained in a principled way. A structure for the Armenian clauses is introduced in this chapter and, on evidence from indefinites and case theory, it is argued that although Armenian is an SOV language, it has a head initial IP and VP. This follows from Kayne's 'Antisymmetry in Syntax' where it is argued that all languages are head initial. In chapter 3, multiple Wh constructions are analyzed. A summary of Rudin's 'On Multiple Questions and Multiple WH Fronting' article is given, and the Armenian data are compared with data from some of the Slavic languages which Rudin deals with. It is then argued that in Armenian Wh constructions and Focussed constructions are subcases of the same process. Evidence is then provided to show that in Armenian Wh-phrases must be licensed as [+f] elements and partial 'Wh-movement' is a result of this licensing requirement. In chapter 4, indefinites and negative structures are analyzed. It is argued that the cliticization of the auxiliary onto the indefinite takes place because indefinites do not get case although they may appear in the spec of AGROP. For negative constructions, it is argued that because negation is a [+f] element it must have the auxiliary cliticized onto it like all other [+f] elements. Finally it is argued that the the reason why the auxiliary follows negation and precedes the verb has to do with the fact that the heads involved in creating this structure do not 'move' head to head. Evidence is then given to show that it is possible to have such structures without violating the ECP.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The syntax of Armenian: chains and the auxiliary
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Linguistics

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