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Morphosyntax and semantic type of noun phrases in Turkish

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dc.contributor.advisor Huang, Shizhe Walter, Micah John 2014-06-18T17:43:37Z 2014-06-18T17:43:37Z 2014
dc.description.abstract Chierchia (1998) proposed that the semantic type of nouns varies across languages: in some languages, nouns denote entities; in others, nouns denote predicates; in yet others, nouns of both types are attested. Chierchia posits the existence of two parameters to account for this division--namely [±arg], which determines whether a language contains nouns denoting arguments, and [±pred], which determines whether a language contains nouns denoting predicates. Chierchia then makes generalizations about each group. This paper examines the noun phrase semantics of Turkish. My analysis shows that not all [+arg, −pred] languages have nouns that act alike: while Turkish patterns in key ways with Chinese, a [+arg, −pred] language, it does not follow all of Chierchia's predictions for [+arg, −pred] languages. In particular, it appears that some Turkish nouns, while being "mass" in the sense that they denote kinds, are countable. Based on these findings, I introduce a third language parameter relevant to the semantic type of nouns, which I label [±count]: languages with countable nouns of type e, such as Turkish would be [+count], while languages with no countable nouns, such as Chinese, would be [−count]. Such a parameter accounts for the Turkish data described. Based on these observations, I work out a possible analysis of Turkish noun phrases that satisfies the Turkish data and corroborates the extended typology. This analysis posits that the "plural" suffix in Turkish has a determiner-like function, selecting a plural individual from a kind.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Linguistics
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Turkish language -- Morphosyntax
dc.subject.lcsh Turkish language -- Noun phrase
dc.title Morphosyntax and semantic type of noun phrases in Turkish
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Open Access

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