Jozina Vander Klok’s Ph.D. Oral Defense – Friday 11/16

Jozina Vander Klok
Department of Linguistics
McGill University
 
 
Friday, November 16th, 2012
Arts Building Rm. 160
2:30 pm
 
 
TAM markers in Paciran Javanese
 
Abstract
 
This dissertation provides both a description and formal explanation of syntactic and semantic aspects of the full set of TAM (tense-aspect-modal) markers in the dialect of Paciran Javanese (Western Malayo-Polynesian, Austronesian), spoken in East Java, Indonesia.
 
First, I identify the inventory of TAM markers in Paciran Javanese and determine their grammatical category. Specifically, I show that there is a set of adverbs (koyoke, ketoke, jekene ‘direct.evidential’, watake, bonake‘indirect.evidential’, mesthine epist.should’, kudune ‘ought’, paleng ‘maybe’, mesthi epist.must’) as well as a set of auxiliaries (kudu deont.must’, lagek prog’, ape fut’, wes perf’, tau exp.perf’, oleh ‘allow’, iso ‘can’). Furthermore, I establish that TAM markers individually observe a strict relative order in Paciran Javanese beyond the observation that TAM adverbs > auxiliaries, maintaining the proposal for a universal hierarchy of TAM projections as in Cinque (1999). Investigating the order in Paciran Javanese provides insight in particular into the syntactic position of root modal projections, left open in Cinque (1999): the necessity root modal projection must be separated from the possibility projection by a low aspectual projection.
 
Second, I concentrate on the formal analysis of two different aspects regarding the set of TAM markers in Paciran Javanese, one syntactic and one semantic. Concerning syntax, I suggest that Paciran Javanese provides evidence not only for the existence of an intermediate comp-like projection serving as a phase edge similar to e.g. Aldridge (2010) within the Minimalist framework (Chomsky 1995), but also the specific position of such a projection. The location of the intermediate comp-like projection is indicated by the partition of two sets of TAM auxiliaries in Paciran Javanese, found to hold in three different constructions: auxiliary fronting in yes-no questions, VP-topicalization and subject-auxiliary answers to yes-no questions.
 
Concerning semantics, I establish the modal system in Paciran Javanese based on results from a variety of fieldwork methods such as a modal questionnaire, storyboards (totemfieldstoryboards.org), elicitation and interviews. I propose a formal analysis of the possibility and necessity modals in Paciran Javanese within the classic framework of Kratzer (1977, 1981). This analysis captures the fact that modals in Paciran Javanese typically lexically specify for both the modal force (possibility vs. necessity) and the type of modality (e.g.epistemic, based on the available evidence; deontic, based on a body of rules and regulations; etc.). As well, I suggest an analysis within this system for one modal which behaves differently in Paciran Javanese, as it only lexically specifies for the modal force, but not for the type of modality.
 
 
 
followed by a reception in the lounge
All are welcome!

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