LING 492 - Topics in Linguistics
Section: 003 On the Syntax and Semantics of NPs in Creole Languages
Term: WN 2008
Subject: Linguistics (LING)
Department: LSA Linguistics
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

This course focuses on the syntax and semantics of Noun Phrases in a variety of creoles that have emerged from the contact between different European lexifiers and families of African languages. It brings together descriptive and theoretical studies that focus on similar issues in the domain of nominal expressions: for each creole under study, we examine the complete set of overt determiners (i.e., definiteness, specificity, referentiality and plural marking) while focusing on the distribution and interpretation of bare nouns. We consider to what extent factors such as previous introduction of the NP in the discourse, animacy, number (singular versus plural), Tense (generic versus episodic), syntactic distribution (subject versus object position), uniqueness, and pragmatics could be shown to affect NP marking. Once the relevant distributional and interpretive properties of the NPs have been presented and analyzed, we investigate whether the same properties are found in the lexifiers or the African languages that contributed to the formation of the creole, or whether they should be considered language-internal innovations. For the papers developed within the generativist framework, we base our analyses on works by Longobardi (1994, 2000, 2005), Chierchia (1998), Dayal (2007), Guéron (2007) among others. Ultimately, this course on creole languages reveals that under the cover of their apparent morpho-syntactic similarity, lies great semantic diversity and complexity.

LING 492 - Topics in Linguistics
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
003 (SEM)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
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