Download Subjects and Universal Grammar: An Explanatory Theory by Yehuda N. Falk PDF

By Yehuda N. Falk

The 'subject' of a sentence is an idea that offers nice demanding situations to linguists. such a lot languages have whatever which appears like an issue, yet topics fluctuate throughout languages of their nature and homes, making them a fascinating phenomenon for these looking linguistic universals. This pioneering quantity addresses 'subject' nature from a concurrently formal and typological viewpoint. Dividing the topic into detailed grammatical capabilities, it exhibits how the character of those capabilities explains their respective houses, and argues that the cut up in houses proven in 'ergative' languages (whereby the topic of intransitive verbs is marked as an item) effects from the services being assigned to diverse components of the clause. Drawing on info from a typologically good selection of languages, together with English, Hebrew, Tagalog, Inuit and Acehnese, it explains why, even on the subject of very various languages, sure middle homes are available.

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Bought for DAT child NOM dress c. *Sino ang ibinili ng damit ang bata’? ’ (30) a. *Ano ang bumili para sa bata ang tao? bought for DAT child NOM man b. Ano ang binili ng tao para sa bata? bought ERG man for DAT child c. *Ano ang ibinili ng tao ang bata? ’ (31) a. *Sino ang bumili ng damit ang tao? bought ACC dress NOM man b. *Sino ang binili ng tao ang damit? bought ERG man NOM dress c. Sino ang ibinili ng tao ng damit? ’ The nominative is also the argument that undergoes Raising. (32) (Kroeger 1993) a.

Juuna- p atuagaq ataasiq tigu- sima- nngi- laa. ’ Thus, Inuit displays a split in subject properties, with some, as in English, as properties of the S and A arguments, and others as properties of the S and P arguments. Another language which exhibits a split in subject properties is Tagalog, as first observed in the seminal study of Schachter (1976). Tagalog is a Philippinetype language, and is exemplified above in (18). Here the split is between those subject properties which are properties of the S or A regardless of verbal morphology, and those which are properties of the nominative.

These two semantic arguments are uniformly mapped into syntactic (grammatical) argument functions. Traditionally, the function that expresses Agents is called “subject” (subj) and the one that expresses Patients is called “object” (obj). In many languages, there can be additional Patient-like arguments realized as “secondary objects” or “restricted objects” (obj2 or obj θ ). Finally, additional nominal arguments are marked (generally by prepositions or Case) to indicate the thematic role explicitly; these are called obliques (obl θ ).

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