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ERIC Number: ED523535
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 211
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-8534-4
Root, Successive-Cyclic and Feature-Splitting Internal Merge: Implications for Feature-Inheritance and Transfer
Obata, Miki
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan
The goal of the dissertation is to determine aspects of the structure of the human language faculty, a cognitive system, specifically focusing on human syntactic systems, (unique in the animal kingdom) which enable us to creatively produce an unlimited number of grammatical sentences (like the one you just read, probably never before written or thought). The thesis especially addresses mechanisms of the syntactic movement operation, namely "Internal Merge," a central concern in the field. I analyze the data from a cross-linguistic perspective and investigate how the language faculty can compute the validity of movement under Chomsky's (2007, 2008) analyses. The main focus is on the following two points: [1] (re-)formulating fundamental mechanisms of the computational system especially concerning the operation "Merge," which assembles two elements (i.e. each a bundle of features) creating a new syntactic object, a set, and [2] addressing certain central issues of how syntactic representations (constructed by "Merge") are (cyclically) transferred from the narrow syntax to the interface components, in which the semantic and phonological computations are carried out. The thesis is mainly devoted to [1] and [2] within the framework of the phase-based derivational approach suggested in Chomsky (2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008), where the syntactic computation is "chunked" i.e. limited to small units called phases , by assumption, leading to the reduction of computational complexity. With respect to [1], I closely examine the case that multiple heads are involved in triggering "Internal Merge" (i.e. movement) of a single element under the feature-inheritance system, introduced in Chomsky (2007, 2008) and propose "Feature-Splitting Internal Merge," which enables us to explain improper movement phenomena within local computation, in contrast to May (1979). Regarding [2], the mechanism of Transfer is discussed, especially focusing on the timing of its application and also seeking to explain which portion (category) within the constructed narrow syntax representation it applies to. In addition, the thesis will discuss how the narrow syntax is constrained by the interface conditions. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A