GK Colloquium: Fenna Bergsma and Lai Yat Han
Fenna Bergsma and Lai Yat Han will give two talks in the GK colloquium series on Dec. 5, 4pm, in SH 2.106.
Title: Syncretism = shared syntax + shared spellout
Presenter: Fenna Bergsma
Abstract: I discuss how forms can satisfy multiple case requirements if they are syncretic (i.e. formally identical) between to cases. The approach combines (1) having one syntactic node per feature (as in nanosyntax, Starke 2009) with (2) remerging of embedded features in a different structure (grafting, Van Riemsdijk 2006). The phenomenon will be illustrated with examples of free relatives.
Title: Processing Relative Clauses in German and Cantonese: an experimental study
Presenter: Yat Han Lai
Abstract: An investigation from the processing perspective into the word orderings of head noun and its modifying relative clause in German and Cantonese will be presented. The principles of ‘Early Immediate Constituents’ (EIC, Hawkins, 1994, 2004) was tested by an experiment using acceptability judgement tasks. EIC predicts that rearranging the relative clause in both languages from its canonical position similarly facilitates efficient parsing due to the minimized distance between the constituents (i.e. head noun and the main verb), especially when the RCs are heavy (in length and complexity). In spite of the similar predictions in parsing advantage, the experiment found different results for the two languages.