C05

Hidden variability in sharing constructions

PI(s): Prof. Dr. Doreen Georgi

This project investigates the limits of variability in the formation of filler-gap dependencies by studying sharing constructions (SCs), in which a single filler relates to several gaps (as in across-the-board and parasitic gap constructions). We will apply a battery of novel as well as refined diagnostics using quantitative experimental methods and direct elicitations to evaluate the hypothesis that SCs arise from variable underlying sources despite their surface similarities (= hidden variability). To this end, we will compare the morphosyntax of (i) different SCs within a language, and (ii) the same SC across different languages. The results will allow us to improve existing formal models of how the syntax generates sharing, and to better understand how the mechanisms involved in filler-gap-dependency formation are constrained.

in phase 1:

The limits of variability in extraction asymmetries

PI(s): Prof. Dr. Doreen Georgi

The project investigates the source of extraction asymmetries in syntax from a cross-linguistic perspective, in particular subject/non-subject asymmetries. It is well known that the deplacement of subjects in many languages is more restrictive than that of non-subjects; this manifests itself in the former requiring special morphological or syntactic building blocks (e.g., valency changes, addition or deletion of morphemes on the verb) in order to be extracted. In particular, we focus our investigations on one of these asymmetries that has been comparatively understudied, the so-called anti-aggreement effect (AAE). According to the common definition in the literature, in languages with the AAE, the morphology that doubles an argument (e.g., congruency, clitic) is either reduced or eliminated altogether under subject extraction — such as in constituent questions or under focus, where a phrase is moved to the left edge of the sentence. The goal of the project is to determine the factors that trigger AAE and subject/non-subject extraction asymmetries in general. The central question is whether there is one constraint in the grammar that triggers all extraction asymmetries (and the visible asymmetries are just different surface repairs of the same constraint), or whether there are multiple sources of these effects. We also want to fathom why many, but not all, languages with argument doubling morphology exhibit the AAE. To answer these questions, we are conducting a comparative linguistic study of about 15 languages with the AAE from different (sub)families. In doing so, we also study in detail how the argument encoding system and the deplacement system of each language works – something that has been done little to nothing in the literature on the AAE. We collect data with the help of native speakers in questionnaire studies (grammaticality judgments) and in elicitations. In doing so, we compare across languages the conditions under which AAE is triggered or blocked. This allows us to determine whether these factors vary widely or whether there is a limited number of factors that condition the effect.

The result of the project is the following: AAE does not have a source that is the same in all languages, i.e., it does not arise from a general restriction about subject extraction in grammar. Rather, we find that the relatively stable (widespread across languages) AAE phenomenon is multi-causal, that is, it has different triggers in different languages. The effect is the result of the interaction of general grammatical operations involved in deplacement and argument doubling (movement, congruence, …) and independent – and partly language-specific – constraints over these operations in individual languages. The key empirical observation motivating this conclusion, among others, is that in languages with the AAE, the effect of reduction/dilution of argument doubling morphology also occurs outside of subject extraction. This means that in each case there is a broader, more generalization about the occurrence of this morphology in a language, and that the AAE under deplacement is only one of several contexts where this generalization comes into play. In our work, we fathom these generalizations through the detailed study of the grammatical properties of languages. The relevant factors we have identified are: (a) the morphosyntactic system of argument doubling (How is argument doubling constrained in a language?), (b) the nature of morphological doubling (congruence expressed by bound morphemes, free or clitic pronouns), and (c) properties of deplacement in a language (Is dependency generated by movement or base generation? Does it leave gaps or resumptive pronouns?). We have found that in some languages the AAE is the result of contextual allomorphy, i.e., a congruency morpheme is sometimes simply phonologically null for independent reasons (e.g. in Limbum (Grassfields Bantu, Niger-Congo) and Welsh (Celtic, Indo-European)); in other languages, AAE results from the fact that the morpheme expressing argument doubling is a pronoun and the proper, thematic argument of the verb, while the doubled NP serves only as a left-peripheral adjunct-a function that not all noun types can take (e.g., in Awing (Grassfields Bantu, Niger-Congo). In a third group of languages, the doubling morphology is pronominal, but not the thematic argument of the verb (pronominal clitic, resumptive pronoun): pronominal expressions are not compatible with any type of NP as antecedent (only with referential/specific antecedents, but not, e.g. e.g., with wh-expressions); for those noun types that cannot be antecedents, the pronominal element cannot occur, leading to AAE (e.g., in Asante Twi (Kwa, Niger-Congo) or in Fiorentino (Romance, Indo-European). Our finding suggests that it is not necessary – and even superfluous – to postulate construction-specific rules that refer either to deplacement directly or indirectly to features associated with it in order to formally capture AAE, as is done in the existing literature. Instead, AAE follows from a more generalization about when and how argument doubling is possible in a language-with AAE-like implications even in contexts outside of deplacement.

Members

Georgi
Prof. Dr. Doreen Georgi
Campus GolmHaus 14, Raum 3.33
(+49) 331 977-2968
Rothert
Johannes Rothert
Campus GolmHaus 14, Raum 3.40
(+49) 331 977-2241
Szarvas
Timea Szarvas
Campus GolmHaus 14, Raum 3.40
(+49) 331 977-2241

Publications

  • Peer-Reviewed: Papers, Journals, Books, Articles of the CRC
  • Talk or Presentation: Talks, Presentations, Posters of the CRC
  • SFB-Related: not produced in connection with the CRC, but are thematically appropriate
  • Other: Papers, Journals, Books, Articles of the CRC, but not peer-reviewed
Author(s)TitleYearPublished inLinksType
Georgi, D., & Stark, E.Past participle agreement in French - one or two rules?2020M.-O. Hinzelin, N. Pomino, & E.-M. Remberge (Eds.), Formal Approaches to Romance Morphosyntax: Linking Variation to Theory (pp. 19-48). Boston, Berlin: de Gruyter. DOI: 10.1515/9783110719154-002
Peer-Reviewed
Georgi, D.On the nature of ATB-movement: insights from reflexes of movement.2019M. Baird & J. Pesetzky (Eds.), NELS 49: Proceedings of the Forty-Ninth Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society (Vol. 1, pp. 291-303). Amherst, MA: GLSA. *
Peer-Reviewed
Amaechi, M., & Georgi, D.On optional wh-/focus fronting in Igbo: A SYN-SEM-PHON interaction.2020Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, 39(3), 299-327. DOI: 10.1515/zfs-2020-2017
Peer-Reviewed
van Alem, A.Complementizer agreement is not allomorphy: A reply to Weisser (2019).2020Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 5(1), 44. DOI: 10.5334/gjgl.1069
Peer-Reviewed
Amaechi, M., & Georgi, D.Quirks of subject (non-)extraction in Igbo.2019Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 4(1), 69. DOI: 10.5334/gjgl.607
Peer-Reviewed
Georgi, D., & Amaechi, M.Resumption and islandhood in Igbo.2020M. Asatryan, Y. Song, & A. Withmal (Eds.), NELS 50: Proceedings of the Fiftieth Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society (Vol. 1, pp. 261-274). Amherst, MA: GLSA. *
Peer-Reviewed
Hein, J.Deriving the typology of verbal fronting.2018S. Hucklebridge & M. Nelson (eds.), NELS 48: Proceedings of the Forty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society (Vol. 2, pp. 29-38). Amherst: GLSA. *Peer-Reviewed
Hein, J., & Barnickel, K.Replication of R-pronouns in German dialects.2018Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, 37(2), 171-204. DOI: 10.1515/zfs-2018-0009
Peer-Reviewed
Hein, J., & Murphy, A.Case matching and syncretism in ATB dependencies.2020Studia Linguistica, 74(2), 254-302. DOI: 10.1111/stul.12126
Peer-Reviewed
Amaechi, M., & Georgi, D.On the Source of Subject / Non-Subject Asymmetries in Igbo wh-/focus Constructions.2018Paper presented at the 49th Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL 49) Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA. 23 March.Talk or Presentation
Amaechi, M., & Georgi, D.On the quirks of subject extraction in Igbo A’-dependencies.2017Invited talk at the Workshop on Quirks of Subject Extraction, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 10 - 11 August.Talk or Presentation
Amaechi, M., & Georgi, D.On subject / non-subject extraction asymmetries in Igbo.2017Invited talk at the SVM Lecture Series, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany. 22 November.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D.Resumption in Igbo.2021Invited talk at the Cognitive Science of Language lecture series, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada. 08 February.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D.Resumption in Igbo (joint work with Mary Amaechi).2020Invited talk at the Morpho-Syntax-Colloquium, Institute of Linguistics, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany. 11 December.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D.Resumption in Igbo - resumption types and morphological mismatches (joined work with Mary Amaechi).2020Invited talk at the Departmental Seminar, Linguistics Department, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK. 18 November.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D.Iterative wh-movement: do’s and don’ts. A case study in ATB-movement.2019Invited talk at the Workshop Iterativity in Grammar, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany. 02 December.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D.On two types of resumption in Igbo and the nature of islands (joint work with Mary Amaechi).2019Invited talk at the Syntax Colloquium, Department of Linguistics, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany. 25 November.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D.Reflexes of movement and locality.2019Invited talk at CamCos 8, Cambridge, UK. 02 May.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D.On the nature of ATB-movement: insights from reflexes of movement.2018Paper presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society (NELS 49), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. 05 October.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D.On the nature of ATB-movement: insights from reflexes of movement.2018Paper presented at the 41st GLOW conference (GLOW41), Hungarian Academy of Science, Budapest, Hungary. 13 April.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D., & Amaechi, M.On two types of resumption in Igbo and the nature of islands.2020Paper presented at the 43rd Generative Linguistics of the Old World (Virtual GLOW 43), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany. 08 - 20 April.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D., & Amaechi, M.On two types of resumption in Igbo and the nature of islands.2019Paper presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society (NELS 50), MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA. 27 October.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D., & Amaechi, M.On Optional wh-/focus fronting in Igbo: a SYN-SEM-PHON interaction.2019Paper presented at the Who cares? Contrast and opposition in 'free phenomena', workshop at the 41st Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS), Bremen, Germany. 07 March.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D., & Fominyam, H.On the nature of subject marking in Awing.2019Paper presented at the 50th Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL 50), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. 22 - 25 May.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D., & Fominyam, H.On the role of referentiality in subject marking in Awing.2019Paper presented at the DISCO Workshop, Leipzig, Germany. 16 April.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D., & Hein, J.On the interaction of extraction and argument marking in Asante Twi.2020Paper presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society (CLS 56), Chicago, Ill, USA. 30 April - 03 May (online).Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D., & Hein, J.On the interaction of extraction and argument marking in Asante Twi.2020Poster presented at the 43rd Generative Linguistics of the Old World (Virtual GLOW 43), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany. 08 - 20 April.
Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D., & Hein, J.(A)Symmetries in Asante Twi object extractions.2020Paper presented at the 3rd Linguistics in Göttingen conference (LinG3), Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany. 05 - 06 February.Talk or Presentation
Hein, J.Island constraints are category-sensitive: The case of Asante Twi and Limbum.2020Invited talk at the Linguistics Colloquium, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel. 17 November.Talk or Presentation
Hein, J.Selective island-sensitivity in Asante Twi and Limbum.2020Invited talk at the Syntax Meeting, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA. 18 September.Talk or Presentation
Hein, J.Subject asymmetries in Limbum: Antiagreement, resumption, and focus marking.2019Paper presented at the 45th Conference Generative Grammar in the South (GGS 2019), Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. 19 - 21 July.Talk or Presentation
Hein, J.Subject asymmetries in Limbum.2019Paper presented at the 50th Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL 50), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. 22 - 25 May.Talk or Presentation
Hein, J.The parallels between ellispis and copy deletion: A case for post-syntactic head movement.2019Poster presented at the Generative Linguistics of the old World (GLOW42), University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. 08 - 10 May.
Talk or Presentation
Hein, J.On the interaction of head movement, ellipsis, and copy deletion: The case of Mainland Scandinavian.2018Paper presented at the Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop 33 (CGSW 33), Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany. 27 September.Talk or Presentation
Hein, J.On the correlation of V(P) fronting and verb doubling/do-support.2017Paper presented at the SinFonIJA 10, Center for Advanced Academic Studies (CAAS), Dubrovnik, Croatia. 22 - 24 October.Talk or Presentation
Hein, J.Deriving the typology of predicate fronting.2017Poster presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society (NELS 48), University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland. 27 - 29 October.
Talk or Presentation
Hein, J.Why Germanic VP-topicalization does not induce verb doubling.2017Paper presented at the 32nd Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop (CGSW 32), NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. 14 September.Talk or Presentation
Hein, J., & Georgi, D.Asymmetries in Asante Twi A'-movement: On the role of noun type in resumption.2020Invited talk at the Syntax Semantics Lab Meeting, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA. 03 December.Talk or Presentation
Hein, J., & Georgi, D.Asymmetries in Asante Twi A'-movement: On the role of noun type in resumption.2020Paper presented at the 51st Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society (NELS 51), University of Québec à Montréal, Canada. 08 November (online).Talk or Presentation
Hein, J., & Murphy, A.Gerundive nominalization is (still) syntactic.2020Paper presented at the Workshop III ''Remarks: the Legacy'' at the 43rd Generative Linguistics of the old World (Virtual GLOW 43), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany. 31 March.Talk or Presentation
Salzmann, M., Wierzba, M., & Georgi, D.Condition C in German A-movement: Tackling challenges in experimental research on reconstruction.2022Journal of Linguistics, pp. 1-46. DOI: 10.1017/S0022226722000214
Peer-Reviewed
Georgi, D.The syntax of sharing constructions.2022Course given at the Eastern Generative Grammar Summer School 2022, Brno, Czech Republic. Brno, Czech Republic. 25 July - 5 August.
Talk or Presentation
Sarvas, T.All that glitters is not syntax: On the deceptive comfort of the armchair.2022Paper presented at the 9. Linguistik Meetup Berlin Brandenburg, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany. 29 September.Talk or Presentation
Sarvas, T.Scope Ambiguities among Suffixes in Hungarian: Mood and Modality.2022Paper presented at the 30th Conference of the Student Organisation of Linguistics in Europe (ConSoLE 30), Nantes, France. 25-27 January (online). Talk or Presentation
Rothert, J.An experimental investigation of the case matching requirement in Polish ATB movement and RNR.2022Paper presented at the Kolloquium Slawistische Linguistik, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany. 04 November. Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D,. & Amaechi, M.Resumption in Igbo: Two types of resumptives, complex phi-mismatches and dynamic deletion domains.2022Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, Volume 25, pages 691–734. DOI: 10.1007/s11049-022-09558-x
Peer-Reviewed
Georgi, D.Resumption in Igbo (joint work with Mary Amaechi).2022Invited talk at the Kolloquium Linguistik, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany. 14 December.Talk or Presentation
Fanselow, G., Barbiers, L.C.J., Brown, J., Delbar, N., Nauta, S., & Rothert, J.On the asymmetry of wh-doubling in varieties of German and Dutch.2024Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, 43(1), 41-64. DOI: 10.1515/zfs-2024-2003
Peer-Reviewed
Rothert, J.An experimental investigation of the case matching requirement in Polish ATB movement and RNR.2023Paper presented at the Kolloquium [SlavLing]GÖ, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany. 13 December.Talk or Presentation
Rothert, J.An investigation of the case matching requirement in Polish ATB movement and RNR.2023Paper presented at the 16th European Conference on Formal Description of Slavic Languages (FDSL 16), University of Garz, Graz, Austria. 29 November - 01 December.Talk or Presentation
Szarvas, T.On reconstruction in German ATB movement and the optimization of experimental designs.2024Paper presented at the 32nd Conference of the Student Organisation of Linguistics in Europe (ConSOLE 32), Queen Mary University of London, London, UK. 17 - 19 January.Talk or Presentation
Georgi, D., & Amaechi, M.On the nature of the that-trace effect: insights from Igbo.2024Invited talk at the 54th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistics Society (NELS 54) MIT, Boston, USA. 26 - 27 January.Talk or Presentation
Szarvas, T.Experimenting with principle C in German ATB movement.2024Poster presented at the Linguistic Evidence 2024, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany. 22 - 23 February.Talk or Presentation

Contact:

University of Potsdam Department Linguistics Prof. Dr. Doreen Georgi Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 24-25 House 14, Room 3.33 14476 Potsdam
(+49) 331 977-2968 doreen.georgi@uni-potsdam.de