Fenger: Domains in syntax, morphology, and phonology (Week 2)

We know that domain effects in grammar exist, where different types of linguistic phenomena cannot apply across or outside a particular domain. For example, most syntactic operations such as movement or agree are constrained by locality domains; in the morphology there are suppletion asymmetries; and in the phonology stress assignment or hiatus resolution are sensitive to different locality domains as well. Since domains seem to play a role in each domain, the question is whether they are of the same size in each of these modules. In some theories there are different mechanisms for each module to account for domain effects. However, with the notion of phases or spell-out domains there is an attempt to unify the domain and the size across the different modules.

The focus of this class is on the one hand to discuss different theories about locality effects, and on the other hand to develop diagnostics about the respective size of the domains in each individual module. When considering whether or not domains are the same in different modules (i.e., for example ‘little v’ in the clause, and in the morphological word), it is important to show that those domains identified in one module are active in another module as well — which means we will need to look at phenomena in the same language for both the syntax and the morphology. Secondly, we need to have a principled account for when and how the size of domains can mismatch across domains. With this background, we will focus on several in depth case studies of the size of the verbal domain across various languages, such as Japanese, Sinhala and Turkish.