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Volume 12 (2012)

Abstracts
12-1 Kanwit, Matthew Discourse Topic and (De)queísmo: A Variationist Study of the Spanish of Caracas
The current study analyzes variation in (de)queísmo, the post-verbal use of the preposition de prior to the complementizer que and the verb’s declarative component, in the Estudio Sociolingüístico de Caracas corpus (1987). In accord with Schwenter (1999), linguistic factors considered include the subject of the main clause, the tense of the main clause verb, and the presence of intervening words, in addition to a new variable: discourse topic. Since de is often used as an evidential marker that distances the speaker from the following propositional content (Schwenter, 1999), it was hypothesized that it should more frequently co-occur with more charged / controversial topics for reasons of mitigation. The extra-linguistic factors analyzed include speaker age, sex, and socioeconomic level.
Overall, dequeísmo was found to be much less prevalent than queísmo in the data. The new variable included in the current study, discourse topic, was chosen as the first significant factor group in both regression models. A clear difference was seen between “charged” contexts and neutral contexts, indicating the ability of de to provide a mitigating buffer prior to emotionally-charged propositional content. Limitations of the current study are also discussed.
[Table of Contents] [Fulltext]

12-2 Franks, Steven A Short Description and Analysis of Paradigmatic Clitics in Bulgarian
This paper offers a brief survey and analysis of the placement and ordering of Bulgarian paradigmatic clitics within the finite clausal domain. These are either personal pronouns in objective/accusative or oblique/dative case or auxiliary/agreement forms of be. First, the question of what general properties define a clitic is addressed, and it is suggested that canonically they are minimal lexical items with respect to both form and meaning. Within a derivational model in which PF filters syntactic representations, clitics can impose tight requirements. For Bulgarian, I argue that these elements may not be initial in their Utterance (a large prosodic domain), a constraint which gives rise to Tobler–Mussafia effects in this language. I also argue that Bulgarian pronominal clitics are K(ase) head which adjoin to T, while the auxiliary clitics are Agr heads (above T). This head movement account handles clitic doubling and locality effects in that language. Finally, I show how the interrogative/focus particle li, which is a simple enclitic, interacts with the paradigmatic clitics in a way that exploits iterative and prosodically-­--conditioned linearization.
[Table of Contents] [Fulltext]

12-3 Hsu, Yu-Yin Projections above NP in Mandarin
The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, I show that although Mandarin is an articleless language, its nominal expressions involve structures larger than a Noun Phrase (NP). I argue that two distinct projections, Demonstrative Phrase (DemP) and Unit Phrase (UnitP), should be identified in the structure above NP. Second, based on the proposal, I show that various ambiguous expressions, in fact, involve different levels of nominal structures, and that they can be disambiguated under specific contexts. The data in this paper suggest that classifiers are better analyzed as the head of UnitP that dominates NP (and takes number phrase as its specifier), and that DemP dominates UnitP, structurally. I also argue that true possessors should be distinguished from possessive modifiers, and I show that their structural difference explains the restriction concerning phenomena of extractions. Based on data of the fixe ordering of demonstrative-classifier-noun, the distribution and the interpretation of nominal modifiers, and the phenomena of coordination and nominal-internal ellipsis, I argue that identifying DemP and UnitP helps us explain the restrictions and the distribution of different types of nominal expressions through a unified account.
[Table of Contents] [Fulltext]



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