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The syntax of head movement: a study of Berber

Ouhalla, J.; (1988) The syntax of head movement: a study of Berber. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The thesis investigates the syntactic properties of head-movement processes as well as the structures of phrasal categories. The discussions are based mainly, though not exclusively, on data from Berber, in particular the Tarifit dialect spoken in the northern part of Morocco. The theoretical framework adopted is that of Government Binding (GB) as outlined by Chomsky (1981), (1982), (1986a), (1986b) and others. The first chapter introduces the GB theory and its modules. The second chapter discusses sentential structure and the properties of head-movement processes involved in the derivation of the surface forms of sentences. The basic properties of the sentential clause in Berber are investigated in detail on the basis of the distribution of clitics and the order of the verbal affixes with respect to the verb the conclusion is reached that the Infl(ection) node needs to be fleshed out in such a way that each of the elements occupying it (AGR(eement), TENSE(TNS) and NEG(ation)) is attributed a full categorial status in the sense of X-bar theory. It is demonstrated that the clausal structure that results from this revision differs with respect to the order of AGE and TNS according to whether the language In question is SVO or VSO. The structures of infinitival clauses, both inflected and unfinflected, as well as small clauses are also investigated in the light of the conclusion mentioned above. Finally, the structural properties of nominal and copular sentences in Berber and other languages are also subjected to an analysis in terms of the same conclusion. The third chapter investigates the structures of nominal and prepositional phrases, and the head-movement processes involved in their derivation in Berber and other languages. The structure of nominal phrases turns out to be strikingly similar to that of sentential clauses with the slight but significant difference that instead of TNS nominal phrases contain a NOM(inalisation) category. Surface word order variations among languages are discussed In the light of this conclusion. The structure of pre/postpositional phrases is found in some languages to contain an AGR element. The chapter also incorporates an attempt to reclassify the existing categories In terms of a binary division which recognises only two categorial classes, verbal and nominal. The fourth chapter investigates the processes of clitic-movement in Berber and Romance languages, and of preposition-movement in Berber. On the basis of the properties of these movement processes and the conclusion reached in the second chapter with respect to the Infl node a unified analysis of morphological and non-morphological causatives Is suggested. An analsyis of the so-called Restructuring constructions in Italian is also suggested where the process of restructuring is argued to be a movement process of the embedded verbal complex to C. With respect to clitics they are argued to be head categories with an affixal nature, and their movement is argued to be governed by the ECP. The process of preposition movement in Berber, on the other hand, is shown to share significant properties with the process of clitic-movement, a fact that is shown to provide significant support for the treatment of clitics as head categories.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:The syntax of head movement: a study of Berber
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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