Please join us this week for Ling-Tea, where Sasha Simonenko will give a practice talk for her upcoming presentation at WCCFL.

When: Wednesday 4/4, 3:00pm
Where: Linguistics 117
Tite: “Clitic-hood as a phonological correlate of phase-head status: evidence from the Mainland North Germanic DP”


In this talk I present evidence supporting an expectation generated by the conjunction of two logically independent claims about the derivation: 1) that a phase-head triggers its complement’s spell-out, Chomsky (2001), and 2) that spelled-out material tends to preserve its phonological make-up, Dobler et al. (2009). The expectation is that phase-heads should have the prosodic status of “clitics”, defined as adjuncts to a certain prosodic domain, Selkirk (1996). I show that in the Mainland North Germanic languages whether or not a suffixal determiner behaves as a phonological clitic perfectly correlates with whether it can co-occur with a free-standing determiner in a language. I argue that this correlation is not a coincidence and that what is at stake is the status of the suffixal determiner, which, when it is a phase-head, creates domains relevant both for spell-out and for variable binding, Bader (2011). I relate my proposal to the emerging body of research suggesting that phonologically opaque domains emerge as a result of the by-phase nature of syntactic derivation which constrains phonological interaction between morphemes (Svenonius 2005, Piggott and Newell 2006, Michaels to appear, Bouchard to appear).