MULL-lab will be meeting this Tuesday, January 17th at 3:00 pm. Meetings take place in Rm. 002 of the McGill Linguistics department, with a Zoom room open for those unable to join in person.
This week, Brandon will be presenting a talk entitled:’
A negative alternation: Negation head movement allomorphy in Igala’. The abstract is below.
The alternation of the exponents of negation in different syntactic environments is a common phenomenon across Niger-Congo languages (e.g., Igbo (Volta–Niger; Amaechi, 2019), Kirundi (Bantu; Chaperon, under review)). In Igala, negation is bi-partite where it is expressed as two morphemes: a pre-verbal morpheme and a sentence-final particle, the first of which changes forms depending on the syntactic environment. It surfaces as high tone on the subject in finite clauses and, in clauses involving A’-movement or in nominalizations, it surfaces as the pre-verbal particle ma̋. I present an account for these two different exponents of pre-verbal negation. I argue that negation moves from the inflectional domain to C0. I propose that in those cases pre-verbal negation surfaces as a high tone on the subject. On the other hand, when this movement to the left periphery is blocked ‒ in A’-movement clauses due to the [+wh] C head and in nominalizations which do not contain C ‒ negation surfaces as the pre-verbal particle ma̋ instead. I take the different phonological forms of negation to be the result of contextual allomorphy.