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Studies in Formal Linguistics

Universal Patterns and Language Specific Parameters


Edited By Anna Bloch-Rozmej and Anna Bondaruk

This book investigates the nature and consequences of universal principles in four major grammar components, i.e. syntax, phonology, morphology and semantics. Language specific parameters are held responsible for the attested variation. The papers collected in this book analyse selected phenomena from English, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, and Polish, and shed new light on the interaction of universals and parameters in the structure of individual language systems. The generative framework is adopted as the theoretical model in the majority of contributions.

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Chapter 5 Peeling of Subject Case: Marked Subjects in Polish (Aleksandra Gogłoza)


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Aleksandra Gogłoza

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Chapter 5 Peeling of Subject Case: Marked Subjects in Polish*

Abstract: This paper offers a novel perspective on a notion of degrees of externality, as introduced in Jabłońska (2007). Jabłońska argues for a fine-grained functional hierarchy of external argument (EA) projections. The hierarchy is established based on a combination of: a) various subjecthood diagnostics, b) a correlation of a nominal functional sequence with a verbal functional sequence, and c) semantic restrictions on EAs. We show how the same notion can be approached from a slightly different perspective, namely EA’s Case selection. We assume, after Caha (2009), that the notion of Case is decomposed into hierarchically ordered syntactic projections, merged on top of nominals. We propose that EAs are merged in v1, with the Instrumental Case on top. The Instrumental Case is peeled on successive movement of EA, up the verbal projections. The higher the EA moves, the smaller its Case becomes. This predicts that the smaller the Case of EA is, the more subject properties the EA shows. In contrast, the bigger the Case is, the lower the EA’s projection is, and the less subject-like the behaviour the EA exhibits. By approaching degrees of externality from Case-based perspective, we are able to extend Jabłońska’s (2007) account to new contexts, including Adversity Impersonals and Subject-position 5+ Numeral Phrases.

Keywords: Case peeling, external argument, nominal fseq, marked Subject,...

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