MULL-Lab will be meeting Tuesday, November 30 at 4:30pm. Julien Carrier (UQAM) will give a talk titled Topicality and referentiality in Inuktitut. An abstract for the talk is below. If you would like to attend but haven’t registered for MULL-Lab, you can do so here.
Abstract: In this talk, I argue that Inuktitut is a discourse-configurational language whose grammatical functions have distinct discourse qualities. I demonstrate using a variationist approach with naturalistic data from speakers of North Baffin Inuktitut that nominal arguments marked with the absolutive case or the ergative case are, respectively, aboutness topics and familiar topics based on Frascarelli & Hinterhölzl’s (2007) typology of topics, while other nominal arguments marked with an oblique case or incorporated into the verb are non-topics. I also propose that D heads in Inuktitut are interpreted as a choice function whose existential closure may apply anywhere at LF (e.g., Reinhart 1992, 1997; Winter 1997) except for nominal arguments marked with the absolutive case or the ergative case as the latter move overtly to the CP-domain and systematically have wide scope over operators like negation.