Nominal Modification

The Research Training Group on Nominal Modification at the Goethe University Frankfurt

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Colloquium: Marcel den Dikken

On Tuesday, January 15th, there will be an additional GK colloquium talk, given by Professor Marcel den Dikken (Eötvös Loránd University) at 12pm in SH 5.105.
Title: One syntax for all: A unified representational system for syntax and phonology
Abstract: In the development of the generative perspective on linguistic analysis over the past half century, the approaches to the phrase structure system and the sound system have grown further and further apart. Though there were, from the start, major differences between syntactic and phonological analysis, there was an emphasis initially on shared fundamental concepts (such as rule ordering and the cycle, essential ingredients of early generative approaches to both sound and phrase structure). However, with the rise and spread of the optimality-theoretic approach to phonology and the ‘minimalist’ approach to syntactic theory, the two primary subdisciplines of linguistic inquiry lost much of their kinship. The central aim of this presentation is to bring phonology and syntax together again with an outlook on linguistic analysis that uses the same representational system in morphosyntax and all levels of phonological analysis, including the prosodic system (phonological structure above the syllable), the internal organisation of the syllable and foot, and the structure of segments. A central tenet of the approach is the X-bar Theory of linguistic representation, designed for the purposes of syntactic analysis, for which the ‘complement of’, ‘specifier of’ and ‘adjunct to’ relations are well established, but also fundamental to phonological structure: X-bar theory is a very useful tool in the representation of geometrical relations of all kinds (both segmental and suprasegmental) in phonology.

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