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Spelling out P: a unified syntax of Afrikaans adpositions and V-particles

Pretorius, Erin (2017-12)

Thesis (DPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Elements of language that are typically considered to have P (i.e. adpositional) category status frequently exhibit divergent morphosyntactic properties, and it is often the case that one and the same element exhibits divergent morphosyntactic properties. Such elements are syncretic. An important fact about syncretism is that it poses a challenge to the ontologically primitive syntactic category. With a concentrated focus on the Afrikaans spatial P domain, this dissertation develops a system in which observed patterns of syncretism fall out naturally from (i) the fine-grained cartographic structure of the non-primitive P domain, (ii) the “shape” of the formal featural specification on particular (classes of) P elements, and (iii) a theory of how lexical material is matched and inserted to express syntactic structure. In this system, syntactic categories are not ontologically primitive but are composite syntactic objects consisting of (overlapping) sets of hierarchically structured formal features. Category effects – all the morphosyntactic characteristics associated with a particular category – arise as epiphenomena of the particular set of features that an element lexicalises at a particular insertion site. As the book progresses, it is demonstrated how all the language-internal variation in expressions containing P elements – simplex and complex prepositional phrases, circumpositional phrases, doubling adpositional phrases, and particle verbs with P-based particles – can be derived from the same basic structure. On the proposed analysis, category boundaries are non-discreet and may be spanned by individual lexical items, accounting for the multiple macro-category membership of some P elements using precisely the same mechanisms that account for multiple micro-category membership.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Elemente van taal wat tipies beskou word as lede van die P (d.i. adposisionele)-kategorie, vertoon dikwels uiteenlopende morfosintaktiese eienskappe, en dit is trouens dikwels die geval dat een en dieselfde element uiteenlopende morfosintaktiese eienskappe vertoon. Sulke elemente word beskryf as sinkreties. Vanuit ’n ontologiese perspektief, skep die verskynsel van sinkretisme ’n belangrike uitdaging vir die idee van ’n primitiewe sintaktiese kategorie. Met spesifieke fokus op die Afrikaanse ruimtelike P-domein, word daar in hierdie studie ’n raamwerk ontwikkel waarbinne waargenome patrone van sinkretisme die natuurlike uitkoms is van (i) die fyn gegreinde kartografiese struktuur van die nie-primitiewe P-domein, (ii) die “vorm” van die formele kenmerkspesifikasie by spesifieke (klasse van) P-elemente, en (iii) ’n teorie oor hoe leksikale materiaal onderling gepas en ingevoeg word om uitdrukking te gee aan sintaktiese struktuur. In hierdie raamwerk verteenwoordig sintaktiese kategorieë nie ontologiese primitiewe nie, maar saamgestelde sintaktiese objekte wat bestaan uit (oorvleuende) stelle hiërargies-gestruktureerde formele kenmerke. Kategorie effekte – al die morfosintaktiese eienskappe wat geassosieer word met ’n spesifieke kategorie – onstaan as epifenomene van die besondere stel kenmerke wat deur ’n element geleksikaliseer word by ’n spesifieke invoegingspunt. In die loop van die studie word getoon hoe al die taal-interne variasie wat gevind word by uitdrukkings waarin P-elemente voorkom – d.w.s. simplekse en komplekse preposisionele frases, sirkumposisionele frases, verdubbeling adposisionele frases, en partikelwerkwoorde met P-gebaseerde partikels – afgelei kan word vanaf dieselfde basiese struktuur. In terme van die voorgestelde analise, is kategorie-grense nie-diskreet en kan hulle oorspan word deur individuele leksikale items. Die meervoudige makro-kategorie lidmaatskap van sommige P-element kan gevolglik verantwoord word met presies dieselfde meganismes wat gebruik word om meervoudige mikro-kategorie lidmaatskap te verklaar.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102940
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