Syntax Reading Group, 4/25 – Mathieu Paillé

Syntax Group will meet this Thursday. Mathieu Paillé will be giving a practice talk for the upcoming MOTH workshop entitled “Revisiting VSO in Malay”.
Description:  Malay/Indonesian has a construction where the verb surfaces to the left of the subject, and the morpheme -nya appears on the verb. Sommerlot (2018), writing about Indonesian, analyses these as fronting the verb via phrasal movement. However, new data from Malay suggests that the verb actually head-moves to some functional head, above Voice but below INFL. To find out what the nature of this head is, the meaning/function of V-nya constructions is discussed. Given that the phonological string -nya also serves as a third-person pronoun (in addition to six other functions, Perangin-angin 2006), I ask whether -nya in these constructions is an expletive subject, and provide an argument to the negative. It is therefore argued that -nya is the spinal head to which the verb moves.
This week’s meeting will exceptionally be scheduled 1:30-2:30pm in room 117. As usual, all are welcome!

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