Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Syntactic Status of NP in Guerrero Nahuatl: Non-Configurationality and the Polysynthesis Parameter
by Alzebaidi, Zahra, M.A., California State University, Fresno, 2017, 69; 10640664
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the syntactic structure of Guerrero Nahuatl using Baker’s proposed Polysynthesis Parameter (1996). Baker (1996) claims that polysynthetic languages must have common features that aggregate to the concept of the Polysynthesis Parameter, which suggests that polysynthetic languages employ morphology for syntactic functions. Baker (1996) suggests that in polysynthetic languages, &thetas;-roles are assigned through either an agreement relationship (agreement morphemes) or a movement relation (Noun Incorporation). As a result, Baker (1996) claims that polysynthetic languages must be non-configurational due to the flexibility of the word order and the absence of true quantifiers which indicates that all overt NPs are adjuncts. Prior researchers have made competing claims regarding the structure of the Nahuatl languages and Baker (1996) Polysynthesis Parameter. In this thesis, I show that Guerrero Nahuatl is a non-configurational polysynthetic language. I provide data showing that &thetas;-roles are assigned through either an agreement relationship or through a movement relation (NI) as Baker (1996) predicated for polysynthetic languages. I also argue that Guerrero Nahuatl has free word order and no occurring true quantifiers. I provide evidence that all overt NPs are in adjunct positions rather than in actual A-positions. In addition, I show that there is an extensive use of null anaphora, and an absence of reflexive overt NPs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Boyle, John
Commitee: Agbayani, Brian, Golston, Chris
School: California State University, Fresno
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 57/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Language
Keywords: Free word order, Guerrero Nahuatl, Non-configurational, Noun incorporation, Polysynthesis parameter, Polysynthetic languages
Publication Number: 10640664
ISBN: 978-0-355-45794-0
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