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Deriving Syntactic Effects of Morphological Case by Eliminating Abstract Case

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Published in Lingua. 2001, vol. 111, p. 279-313
Abstract It has often been observed in the literature that the presence of a morphological case system tends to correlate with certain syntactic phenomena such as relatively free argument order or the occurrence of nominal complements of adjectives. This paper proposes a theoretical explanation of this traditional observation based on the Minimalist framework. Two main claims are made. First, it is argued that the UG concept of abstract Case, which has played a central role for the analysis of nominal constituents in the generative literature, can be eliminated from the grammar because the phenomena that have been related to abstract Case can be derived from the interaction of the categorial feature matrices of the elements contained within a clause. And secondly, as a consequence which is made possible by the elimination of the concept of abstract case, it is proposed that syntactically represented case features only occur in language with a rich morphological case system and that these case features are the source of the syntactic phenomena that have traditionally been related to morphological case. This paper thus provides support for recent proposals (cf. Bobaljik, 1995; Bobaljik and Thráinsson, 1998; Thráinsson, 1996) according to which morphological properties have an important influence on the syntactic representation and hence on the syntactic processes occurring within a clause.
Keywords Abstract caseCase TheoryCategorial featuresMorphological case
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HAEBERLI, Eric. Deriving Syntactic Effects of Morphological Case by Eliminating Abstract Case. In: Lingua, 2001, vol. 111, p. 279-313. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:35358

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Deposited on : 2014-04-04

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