Nez Perce is one among many ergative languages that consistently use nominative case, rather than ergative, for 1st and 2nd person transitive subjects. For the synchronic grammar of this type of ergative split, two major lines of analysis have been proposed. Morphological analyses approach the phenomenon as a case of syncretism between ergative and nominative in 1st and 2nd person; all transitive subjects are assigned an identical syntax. Syntactic analyses posit a featural or structural distinction between 3rd person subjects and 1st and 2nd person subjects, or the clauses containing them … [more]
This paper studies two aspects of movement in Nez Perce relative clauses. First, I argue that relativization involves cyclic A' movement, even in monoclausal relatives: the relative element moves to Spec,CP via an A' outer specifier of TP. Second, I provide a new argument from connectivity in morphological case for the view that some but not all relatives are derived by head-raising… [more]
Is the mass-count distinction a semantic universal? What types of variation are at stake in the different ways the distinction shows up cross-linguistically? This paper addresses these questions through a study of Nez Perce, a language where the mass-count distinction is almost entirely grammatically concealed… [more]
Course at the LSA Summer Institute 2015, University of Chicago.
The Investigation of Linguistic Meaning: In the Armchair, in the Field, and in the Lab, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin / National Humanities Center.
At Generative syntax in the 21st century: the road ahead, Athens; and University of Leipzig. [handout]