Ling Lunch 10/24 – Brandon Fry (U of Ottawa)

Speaker: Brandon Fry (U of Ottawa)

When: Wednesday 10/24 from 12:35 to 1:25 pm

Title: Particle verbs, principled explanation and PF

Abstract: Particle verbs have been a source of inspiration and frustration in Generative Grammar since the inception of the field. Certain descriptive generalizations suggest that these constructions are morphological objects, while others seem to require a syntactic explanation. Within the generative enterprise, these constructions have been the focus of inquiry of a large body of work inspired by several theoretical approaches. Many of these analyses have been motivated by the attempt to remedy apparent morphosyntactic mismatches. In this presentation, I will provide a critical review of some recent analyses of particle verb constructions proposed within a Principles-and-Parameters-Theoretic framework, especially in light of the latest developments concerning the Minimalist Program. I will evaluate the analyses on the basis of their coherence when considered in conjunction with this attempt at principled explanation and with other recent work concerning the architecture of the grammar, especially the PF component. I will also consider the ability of the resulting grammatical architecture to account for certain morphosyntactic and prosodic properties of particle verbs exemplified by an empirical paradigm.

Schedule for the rest of the semester*:

October 31: Jeffrey Klassen (McGill), Acquisition of focus prosody in English: evidence from native speakers of Spanish
November 7: Matthew Masapollo (McGill), Infants’ processing of vowels with infant vocal tract parameters
November 14: Robert Henderson & Jessica Coon (McGill), Agent focus in Mayan
November 21: Omer Preminger (Syracuse U), Topic TBA
November 28: Tanya Slavin (McGill), Topic TBA

*Contact us at if you’d like to present next semester.




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