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Voice And Case Phenomena In Lithuanian Morphosyntax

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Voice And Case Phenomena In Lithuanian MorphosyntaxScholarlyCommons ScholarlyCommons
2020
Voice And Case Phenomena In Lithuanian Morphosyntax Voice And Case Phenomena In Lithuanian Morphosyntax
Milena Sereikaite University of Pennsylvania
Follow this and additional works at: https://repository.upenn.edu/edissertations
Part of the Linguistics Commons
Recommended Citation Recommended Citation Sereikaite, Milena, "Voice And Case Phenomena In Lithuanian Morphosyntax" (2020). Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations. 3840. https://repository.upenn.edu/edissertations/3840
This paper is posted at ScholarlyCommons. https://repository.upenn.edu/edissertations/3840 For more information, please contact [email protected]
Voice And Case Phenomena In Lithuanian Morphosyntax Voice And Case Phenomena In Lithuanian Morphosyntax
Abstract Abstract This dissertation provides new empirical discoveries with consequences both for how case is assigned and the range of possible types of cases. In this dissertation, I explore the relationship between Voice, case and subjecthood through the lens of Lithuanian, a Baltic language. Evidence from the active existential construction shows that the structural accusative case can be assigned in the absence of a higher c-commanding nominal. Specifically, I demonstrate that Lithuanian exhibits an active existential Voice – a Voice which assigns accusative case to a grammatical object and is realized by active morphology, but whose external argument is not syntactically projected. This finding counterexemplifies Burzio’s(1986) Generalization, its alternative versions (e.g., Kratzer 1994, 1996; Legate 2014) and related theories such as Dependent Case Theory (Marantz 1991; Woolford 2003; McFadden2004; Bobaljik 2008; Preminger 2014). I demonstrate that accusative case assignment is a property of a functional head independent of the projection of a specifier, and propose anew flavor of active Voice, one that assigns accusative case and yet semantically introduces the initiator as existentially bound rather than projecting a specifier. The properties of Voice are also examined by contrasting two constructions: the-ma/-ta impersonal and the canonical passive. I argue that while both constructions overlap morphologically, they are syntactically distinct. Although the Lithuanian impersonal patterns with the Ukrainian cognate -no/-to passive in allowing an auxiliary, it behaves like an active voice with a null projected initiator - a pattern found in the Polish-no/-to impersonal and other impersonals crosslinguistically (Blevins 2003; Maling and Sigurjónsdóttir 2002; Lavine2005, 2013; McCloskey 2007; Legate 2014). I show that the Lithuanian passive lacks a syn-tactically realized initiator and selects for a type of Voice without a specifier (in line with Bruening 2013; Legate 2014; i.a. contra Collins 2005).
Empirical work on case has established a distinction between two cases, structural vs.non-structural (Chomsky 1981, 1986; Woolford 2006; Pesetsky and Torrego 2011; i.a). My dissertation challenges this dichotomy by identifying a type of case, namely marked structural, that falls between these categories depending on the syntactic environment it is realized in. Normally, non-structural cases (inherent, inert, lexical) are all assigned along with aθ-role. I demonstrate that marked structural case is like a structural case in not being assigned thematically. Rather, it is assigned by a thematic Voice head (for a similar approach in Icelandic see Schäfer 2008; E.F Sigurðsson 2017). However, this case also behaves like inherent case in that it must be obligatorily assigned and its assignment is insensitive to the featural makeup of the thematic VoiceP e.g., active vs. passive. This dissertation contributes to Case Theory by showing that there exist mixed cases like marked structural case, which constitute an intermediate step between structural case and non-structural case.
Lastly, this dissertation provides important insights for subjecthood theories by identifying two types of non-nominative subjects in the language. Non-nominative subjects are normally assigned non-structural case lexically determined by a specific class of predicates (Zaenen et al. 1985; Sigurðsson 2002, 2004; i.a.). I demonstrate that non-nominative subjects can vary in terms of their case assignment and do not constitute a homogeneous class. I establish a number of syntactic tests for subjecthood in the language. Using these tests, Ishow that the genitive subject of the evidential construction behaves like a canonical nominative subject and is assigned a structural case by a functional head. In contrast, the dative subject of lack-class predicates shows only a subset of subjecthood properties and its case is non-structural assigned by a lexical verb. The contrast between the two non-nominative subjects provides independent evidence for the separation of syntactic case from its morphological form (for a syntactic approach to case see Vergnaud 1977/2008; Chomsky 1981,1995; Legate 2008).
Degree Type Degree Type Dissertation
Degree Name Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Graduate Group Graduate Group Linguistics
First Advisor First Advisor Julie A. Legate
Second Advisor Second Advisor Eugene Buckley
Keywords Keywords Case, Lithuanian, Morphology, Passive vs. Impersonal, Syntax, Voice
Subject Categories Subject Categories Linguistics
This dissertation is available at ScholarlyCommons: https://repository.upenn.edu/edissertations/3840
Milena Šereikaite
A DISSERTATION
in
Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
2020
Graduate Group Chairperson
Dissertation Committee:
Florian Schwarz, Associate Professor of Linguistics
Heidi Harley, Professor of Linguistics, University of Arizona
Dedicated to my grandmother...
ii
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
I would like to thank the most wonderful advisor ever – Julie Anne Legate. Julie taught
me so many things, I would like to list all of them here, but I think it would probably take
more than 5 pages to do that, so I will limit myself. I want to thank Julie for teaching me to
be a thorough and diligent researcher. Julie always inspired me and pushed me to my limits
which transformed me into a more confident linguist and academic. I would like to thank
Julie for countless meetings and hours spent together working on Lithuanian syntax which
was a lot of fun. Thank you for your feedback on papers, abstracts and di!erent drafts of
this dissertation. This dissertation would have not been possible without you. Julie is truly
a wonderful mentor. She was always there for me and supported me all the way through my
graduate career. The most significant thing that I have learnt from her is not to take things
for granted in linguistics. Whenever I felt like I knew the answer to the problem, I would
meet with Julie and then in our meetings I would realize that things are more complicated
than I thought. This always sprung my curiosity and motivated me to work harder. Julie
is a true role model for me and will be for future generations.
I would also like to thank David Embick for invaluable input and thoughtful guidance
while working on this dissertation. Thank you, Dave, for meetings, comments and feed-
back on numerous drafts of this dissertation. I would like to thank Dave for teaching me
morphology, which was one of my favourite classes in grad school. His classes were always
very inspiring. I really enjoyed working together on the reflexive -si- puzzle, lexical prefixes,
allomorphy and allosemy.
I am also very grateful to Florian Schwarz. With his help, I gained a deeper understand-
ing of semantics, especially the semantic side of definiteness, kind reference, plurality and
existential closure. I’ve never found semantics easy, but Florian was very patient with me
and always encouraged me to invest more time into investigating the semantics of various
syntactic phenomenon.
I would like to thank Heidi Harley who contributed to this dissertation in many important
ways. I really appreciate your comments, encouragement and our stimulating conversations.
iii
This dissertation has also benefited from discussions with Solveiga Armoskaite, Martin Salz-
mann, Einar Freyr Sigur"sson, Jurgis Pakerys and Marcel Pittero!. Thank you also to the
people at our department whose classes I took over the years at Penn: Gene Buckley, Tony
Kroch, Don Ringe, Rolf Noyer, Beatrice Santorini, Meredith Tamminga. I would like to
express gratitude to my collaborators Luke Adamson, Faruk Akku#, Marcel Pittero!, Don
Ringe and Einar Freyr Sigur"sson. Many thanks to Amy Forsyth for the assistance.
I would like to thank my consultants for their judgements, patience and great insights:
Dalia Bernotaite Beliauskiene, Petras Beliauskas, Viktorija Barauskaite, Ieva Dubiskaite,
Dovile Juknele, Auguste Jurkunaite, Tadas Jurkunas, Vilimantas Jurkunas, Laimutis Grigo-
nis, Simona Gruodyte, Paulina Gruodiene, Andrius Kundrotas, Ieva $ereikaite, Raminta
$ereikiene, Oskaras $ereika, Ernesta Vytiene.
The biggest thanks in the world goes to my friend - Ava Irani. I cannot imagine grad
school without you, we went through so much together, I really value our friendship, and I
am so happy to have you in my life. I also thank Nattanun (Pleng) Chanchaochai for her
support and introducing me to spicy food. Pleng, I can eat medium spicy now, which is
a big achievement for me. I cannot thank Aletheia Cui enough for baking nice treats, for
always highlighting the relational side of things and for small snack surprises. Thank you
Andressa Toni for wine nights, black dresses with flowers, cat love, cheese balls, and the
most wonderful friendship. Thanks Rob Wilder for your kindness, mentoring, nights at New
Deck, the trip to Delaware and most importantly the immense support over past 6-years
of grad school. Our friendship means a lot to me. I thank Domonique Roberts-Mack for
unforgettable travels together and supporting my dreams. I also thank Luke Adamson and
Kajsa Djärv for weekly cohort meetings.
Special thanks to Andrea Ceolin for being the soul of the party, Ava Creemers for hosting
brunch and baking amazing cheesecakes, Nikita Bezrukov for discussing the Russian data
with me and sharing thoughts about linguistics, Faruk Akku# for supporting me, Hong
Zhang for ‘soon doo boo’, Hongzhi Xu for his big smile, Huner Anwer for introducing me to
the Kurdish music (Barzi, Barzi) and culture, Ollie Sayeed for eating oysters with me and
iv
being a good friend, Gwen Hildebrandt for the wine nights, Ugurcan Vurgun for setting a
good working mood at the o%ce. Thanks to Hassan Munshi for long conversations about life
and being an amazing host. Thanks Alexandros Kalomoiros for ‘no dogs barked’, Lefteris
Paparounas for the most wonderful Greek food, Ryan Budnick for the co!ee hour, Jennifer
Arlin for nice conversations, Yiran Chen and Nari Rhee for being the best TA buddies. I
also thank Amy Goodwin Davies, Aaron Freeman, Anton Karl Ingason, Duna Gylfadúttir,
Helen Jeoung, Wei Lai, Ruaridh Purse, Yosiane White.
My life would have been very di!erent without my partner Victor Sun.Victor, you are
the sun of my life. I greatly appreciate your love, support, friendship, encouragement and
the joy you spread around the world. I would like to thank my family. I thank my mom
for being there for me, for daily conversations and the support. I thank my dad, my sister,
brother, grandmother and cousins for love, optimism and inspiration.
v
ABSTRACT
Milena $ereikaite
Julie Anne Legate
This dissertation provides new empirical discoveries with consequences both for how case is assigned and the range of possible types of cases. In this dissertation, I explore the relationship between Voice, case and subjecthood through the lens of Lithuanian, a Baltic language. Evidence from the active existential construction shows that the structural ac- cusative case can be assigned in the absence of a higher c-commanding nominal. Specifically, I demonstrate that Lithuanian exhibits an active existential Voice – a Voice which assigns accusative case to a grammatical object and is realized by active morphology, but whose external argument is not syntactically projected. This finding counterexemplifies Burzio’s (1986) Generalization, its alternative versions (e.g., Kratzer 1994, 1996; Legate 2014) and related theories such as Dependent Case Theory (Marantz 1991; Woolford 2003; McFadden 2004; Bobaljik 2008; Preminger 2014). I demonstrated that accusative case assignment is a property of a functional head independent of the projection of a specifier, and propose a new flavor of active Voice, one that assigns accusative case and yet semantically introduces the initiator as existentially bound rather than projecting a specifier.
The properties of Voice are also examined by contrasting two constructions: the -ma/-ta impersonal and the canonical passive. I argue that while both constructions overlap mor- phologically, they are syntactically distinct. Although the Lithuanian impersonal patterns with the Ukrainian cognate -no/-to passive in allowing an auxiliary, it behaves like an active Voice with a null projected initiator - a pattern found in the Polish -no/-to impersonal and other impersonals crosslinguistically (Blevins 2003; Maling and Sigurjónsdóttir 2002; Lavine 2005, 2013; McCloskey 2007; Legate 2014). I show that the Lithuanian passive lacks a syn- tactically realized initiator and selects for a type of Voice without a specifier (in line with Bruening 2013; Legate 2014; i.a. contra Collins 2005).
Empirical work on case has established a distinction between two cases, structural vs. non-structural (Chomsky 1981, 1986; Woolford 2006; Pesetsky and Torrego 2011; i.a). My dissertation challenges this dichotomy by identifying a type of case, namely marked struc- tural, that falls between these categories depending on the syntactic environment it is realized in. Normally, non-structural cases (inherent, inert, lexical) are all assigned along with a !- role. I demonstrate that marked structural case is like structural case in not being assigned thematically. Rather, it is assigned by a thematic Voice head (for a similar approach in Ice- landic see Schäfer 2008; E.F Sigur"sson 2017). However, this case also behaves like inherent case in that it must be obligatorily assigned and its assignment is insensitive to the featural makeup of the thematic VoiceP e.g., active vs. passive. This dissertation contributes to Case Theory by showing that there exist mixed cases like marked structural case, which constitute an intermediate step between structural case and non-structural case.
Lastly, this dissertation provides important insights for subjecthood theories by identi- fying two types of non-nominative subjects in the language. Non-nominative subjects are normally assigned non-structural case lexically determined by a specific class of predicates (Zaenen et al. 1985; Sigur"sson 2002, 2004; i.a.). I demonstrate that non-nominative sub-
vi
jects can vary in terms of their case assignment and do not constitute a homogeneous class. I establish a number of syntactic tests for subjecthood in the language. Using these tests, I show that the genitive subject of the evidential construction behaves like a canonical nomi- native subject and is assigned structural case by a functional head. In contrast, the dative subject of lack -class predicates shows only a subset of subjecthood properties and its case is non-structural assigned by a lexical verb. The contrast between the two non-nominative subjects provides independent evidence for the separation of syntactic case from its mor- phological form (for a syntactic approach to case see Vergnaud 1977/2008; Chomsky 1981, 1995; Legate 2008).
vii
Acknowledgment iii
Abstract vi
Abbreviations xii
1 Introduction 1 1.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.2 Theoretical Framework . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 1.3 Basic Facts about Lithuanian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2 Voice, Structural Case and Implicit Arguments 10 2.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 2.2 ma/ta Impersonal, Passive and Impersonal Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2.2.1 Typological Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 2.2.1.1 Passives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 2.2.1.2 ma/ta impersonal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
2.2.2 Properties of Theme Argument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 2.2.2.1 Agreement and Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 2.2.2.2 Binding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 2.2.2.3 Interim Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
2.2.3 Thematic VoiceP and Implicit Arguments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 2.2.3.1 Presence of a thematic VoiceP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 2.2.3.2 Projection of Implicit argument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
2.2.3.2.1 Binding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 2.2.3.2.2 By-phrase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 2.2.3.2.3 Non-passivizable Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 2.2.3.2.4 Word Order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 2.2.3.2.5 Predication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
2.2.3.3 Interim Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 2.2.4 Analysis of Impersonals and Passives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
2.2.4.1 VoiceP vs. v-cause . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
viii
2.2.4.2 Impersonal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 2.2.4.3 Passives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 2.2.4.4 -m/-t su%x as AspP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
2.2.4.4.1 AuxP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 2.2.4.4.2 Outer Aspect and Inner Aspect . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 2.2.4.4.3 Aspectual Head . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
2.2.5 Structure of the Implicit Pronoun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 2.2.5.1 Interpretation of the Impersonal Pronoun . . . . . . . . . . . 64 2.2.5.2 Features of Impersonal Pronoun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
2.2.5.2.1 Number . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .…

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