It is our pleasure to invite you to Cognitive Science of Language lecture series first talk of 2021–2022. The lecture will be delivered online by Dr. Ivona Kucerova, an Associate Professor at the Department of Linguistics and Languages at McMaster University. Please email email@example.com to request a link.
Who: Ivona Kucerova
Existing literature on gender in Slavic highlights what appears to be an exceptional behaviour of the neuter gender (Wechsler and Zlati? 2003, Ku?erová 2015, Arsenijevi? 2016, Despi? 2016, 2017, among many others). For example, in Czech two neuter singular conjuncts cannot trigger plural neuter agreement, even though the plural neuter agreement form exists and neuter plural nouns display a fully regular plural behaviour. In this talk I will propose that contrary to appearances the syntactic behaviour of neuter is regular and expected from a feature introduced in the vicinity of a syntactic root (nP; e.g., Kramer 2015). Instead, structurally unexpected behavior arises with the other genders, a fact obscured by the relative scarcity of languages with gender distinction in plural. I will suggest that the non-neuter part of the gender system underwent re-grammaticalization shift via head movement to higher functional projections, incorporating animacy in the system. The resulting nominal structure allows for a feature interaction of gender and person, and triggers a fused behaviour of gender and number. I will demonstrate that head movement within the derived systems can be cross-linguistically detected by locality restrictions on feature operations in higher nominal functional projections and is responsible for gender interactions that have been analyzed as structure, instead of feature, based (Acquaviva 2020, Fassi Fehri 2020).
We are looking forward to seeing you at the event!
- Research and Innovation
- Linguistics & Languages