Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Ellipsis as a diagnostic tool of feature strength and the syntactic structure of Ilocano
by Anderson, Michael Don, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2009, 179; 3387454
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines Ilocano, an Austronesian Filipino language, within the Minimalist Framework, in an effort to tease apart the general syntactic properties of the language. I show that Ilocano underlying structure can easily be captured within the standard syntactic structures proposed for languages generally (Universal Grammar). In my examination of ellipsis in Ilocano, I concern myself strictly with syntactic and not semantic properties. I show that syntactic feature distribution (e.g. [+FOC], [+N EG], [+DET]) in combination with the two basic operations of the Minimalist Program: FEATURE-C HECKING and MERGE can account for both the underlying structure of Ilocano utterances as well as the word-order at Spell-Out, without making any stipulations not found in languages generally.

My research also reveals new insights and corrects existing assumptions about certain previously undiscovered underlying structural properties of Ilocano. I account for the restrictive word ordering and structure found in Ilocano by assigning a universally applicable, non-controversial set of functional and lexical features to morphemes. These features satisfy, individually or collectively, feature-checking requirements in the language, resulting in the attested output of Ilocano. The types of ellipsis considered as a diagnostic toward that end are: NP-ellipsis, Bare Argument Ellipsis/Stripping, Gapping, Sluicing and Psuedogapping. I argue that the primary mechanism which licenses ellipsis in Ilocano is FOCUS-RAISING which allows extraction of remnant material prior to ellipsis of the TP in the case of all verbal-type ellipsis in Ilocano; or the DP in terms of Ilocano NP-ellipsis.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Karimi, Simin, Harley, Heidi
Commitee: Barss, Andy, Harley, Heidi, Karimi, Simin
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 71/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Linguistics, Modern language
Keywords: Austronesian, Ellipsis, Filipino, Ilocano, Ilokano, Minimalist Framework, Syntax
Publication Number: 3387454
ISBN: 9781109535020
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