MULL-lab will be meeting this Tuesday, September 20th at 3:30 pm. Meetings will take place in Rm. 002 of the Linguistics department, with a Zoom room open for those unable to join us in person.
This week, Katya and David will be presenting a talk entitled: “An interface approach to the phases of nominal phrases”. The abstract is below.
The Universal Spine Hypothesis (Bliss 2013, Wiltschko 2014) proposes an articulated nominal spine parallel to that of clauses. Inside of this structure, there are two syntactic phases which correspond to phonological spellout domains: nP and DP (Newell 2008, Newell and Piggott 2014). That is, both nP and DP are spelled out as phonological words (PWd). We examine nominals in Kirundi (Great Lakes Bantu; J62) from the perspective of the phonology-syntax interface, showing that characteristics of Kirundi nominals provide us with unique data supporting these claims. We examine the augment, which we place in Phi, a projection between nP and DP. We show that its phonological behaviour in locative phrases (PP) indicates that the augment is a clitic to a PWd, providing evidence for nP as a phase. In contrast, the augment patterns as an integral part of a PWd in linker phrases (KP), since it is spelled out as the PWd corresponding to the DP phase. Taken together, our proposal highlights that Kirundi offers a unique opportunity to view the phonological consequences of articulated nominal structure, since it has overt morphemes in n (noun class) and Phi (the augment) but not in D. Furthermore, we promote an interface approach to documenting and studying morphological structure.
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