Kariaeva defends her dissertation

Natalia Kariaeva defended her dissertation—supervised by Mark Baker— entitled “Radical Discontinuity: Syntax at the Interface”, on Friday January 23.   Here is a brief description of the dissertation:

In this dissertation, I examine noun phrases in Ukrainian and Modern Greek in which an adjectival attributive modifier surfaces in a distance from the noun it modifies. I put forward the Radical Discontinuity Hypothesis (RDH): a claim that agreement-based discontinuous constituents do not map onto a single phrasal constituent at any point in the derivation.  The RDH follows from the postulate that agreement can be established between two items that are not adjacent to each other (Chomsky (2000, 2001)).  Agreement-based discontinuous constituents are, therefore, analyzed in this dissertation not as the result of splitting a single phrasal constituent into several parts by way of movement but as the result of long-distance concord.  This explains freedom of lexical item ordering in a discontinuous constituent, complex cases of discontinuity that involve tripartitioning of the noun phrase as well as the contrast in the availability of movement and discontinuity in similar syntactic environments.
            While the order between lexical categories that form a discontinuous constituent of this type is free, functional categories linearly precede the leftmost lexical item.  I claim that the surface distribution of functional categories in discontinuous constituents is determined not in narrow syntax but in the course of linearization of syntactic structure at the interface with PF.  The linearization algorithm proposed in this dissertation combines the structure driven principle of the Linear Correspondence Axiom of Kayne (1994) with the F-value ordering principle of Grimshaw (2005).  By establishing a correlation between the asymmetric c-command and the F-value based ordering of heads of an extended projection, I formulate the Mapping Constraint on Linearization (MCL) that guides linearization of syntactic structure at PF and accounts for the asymmetries in the distribution of lexical and functional categories.


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