Relational adjectives at the syntax, morphology interface in Romanian and Spanish [Elektronische Ressource] / vorgelegt von Mihaela Adriana Marchis
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Relational adjectives at the syntax, morphology interface in Romanian and Spanish [Elektronische Ressource] / vorgelegt von Mihaela Adriana Marchis

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Published 01 January 2010
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RELATIONAL ADJECTIVES
AT THE SYNTAX/MORPHOLOGY INTERFACE
IN ROMANIAN AND SPANISH


Von der Philosophisch-Historischen Fakultät der Universität Stuttgart
zur Erlangung der Würde eines Doktors der
Philosophie (Dr. phil.) genehmigte Abhandlung

Vorgelegt von

Mihaela Adriana Marchis


Hauptberichter: Prof. Dr. Artemis Alexiadou
Mitberichter: Prof. Dr. Susann Fischer

Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 20 Juli 2010


Institut für Linguistik: Anglistik, Universität Stuttgart

2010

Acknowledgements

First of all I would like to thank Artemis Alexiadou, who has been not only my
supervisor and role model but also she played a major role in my decision to become a
linguist. I am extremely grateful for her academic support and for her inspiring courses on
Syntax and Distributed Morphology at the Stuttgart University which motivated me and
inspired me in writing this dissertation.
I am dearly indebted and incredibly grateful to Susann Fischer who accepted to be my
advisor (rigorously correcting my work) and offered me the chance to work with her in the
years to come. I consider myself extremely lucky to learn from her not only what it means to
be a teacher, an adviser but also a mentor.
I would also like to thank Alexandra Cornilescu for her fruitful remarks and
suggestions at the conferences organized by the English Linguistic Department in Bucharest.
Her study of nominalizations in Romanian opened me a new perspective on the approach of
Relational adjectives proposed in this work.
The work here benefited enormously from fruitful conversations with my friend and
colleague Gianina Iordachioaia and other colleagues from the department such as Susanne
Lohrmann, Cinzia Campanini, Florian Schäfer, Sabine Mohr, Kirsten Gengel and Matthias
Jilka, who were like a big family for me.
I cannot image my journey without the support of my dear friend Sofiana Chiriacescu
to whom I will always be very grateful. Another special friend that was always there for me
with good advice is Fernando Marino, a person that I respect and admire not only for his vast
knowledge, but especially for being such a good friend. Our endless conversations opened me
new horizons and allowed me to regard linguistics also from a philosophical point of view.

Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank my parents who, through my life,
provided me unshaken support of my personal and professional goals and to Alexander
Moreno, who is not only my partner but also my best friend, the person I can always count on
- the guiding light in my life.





















To my family


















TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Introduction ................................................................................................................. 1

2. Distributed Morphology ............................................................................................. 7

2.1. Introduction ....................................... 7
2.2. The Grammar Architecture in Distributed Morphology ... 9
2.2.1. Primitives of Syntax ................................................................................. 10
2.2.2. Vocabulary Insertion ......... ..11
2.3. A Transparent Interface between Syntax and Morphology ............................. 13
2.3.1. Ornamental Morphology: Insertion of Nodes/Features ...................... 14

3. Qualifying vs. Relational Adjectives ........................................................................ 18

3.1. The Classification of Adjectives as Prototypical vs. Marginal ......................... 18
3.2. Three Abstract Types of Adjectival Modification ............................................. 23
3.2.1. Absolute vs. Synthetic Modification ..................... 25
3.2.2. Relational Modification ....................................... 26

4. An Overview on Classification of Relational Adjectives ........................................ 30
4.1. Postal (1969) .................................................................... 31
4.2. Levi (1978) ........ 33
4.3. Bartning (1980) ................................ 37
4.4. Bosque & Picallo (1996) .................................................................................. 42
4.5. Fábregas (2007) ............................... 46
4.6. Alexiadou & Stavrou (to appear) ..................................................................... 49
4.7. A Split Classification of Relational Adjectives ................ 52

5. The Morpho-syntactic Analysis of Relational Adjectives ...................................... 62
5.1. The Denominal Nature of Relational Adjectives ............. 63
5.1.1. Levi (1978) ............................................................................................ 63
5.1.2. Fábregas (2007).................... 68
5.2. Counterevidence for the Denominal Character of R- Adjectives 72
5.2.1. Alexiadou & Stavrou (to appear) .......................................................... 72
5.3. Bare Nouns in Romance .................................................................................. 75
5.4. Relational Adjectives as Bare Plurals in Romanian and Spanish .................... 79
5.4.1. The Semantics of Plurals ..................................................................... 81
5.5. Thematic Relational Adjectives – as plural/mass nouns . 83
5.6. Classificatory adjectives – as nPs ................................... 86
5.7. Conclusions ...................................................................................................... 90

6. The Syntactic Analysis of Relational Adjectives ..................................................... 92
6.1. Introduction ..................................................................................................... 92
6.2. The Functional Structure of the Romance DP ................. 93
6.3. Bosque & Picallo (1996) .................................................................................. 94
6.3.1. The Shortcomings of Bosque & Picallo’s (1996) Analysis 99
6.4. Fábregas (2007) ............................................................................................. 102
6.5. Alexiadou & Stavrou (to appear) ................................... 106
6.6. A Novel Perspective on Relational Adjectives ............... 110
6.7. Conclusions .................................................................... 116

7. The Syntax of Thematic Adjectives ........................................ 118
7.1. Introduction ................................................................... 118
7.2. The Position of the Genitive Assignment ....................... 121
7.2.1. The Postnominal Genitive .................................. 125
7.2.2. The Pronominal Use of al .................................. 126
7.2.3. The Prepositional Genitive in Romanian: de ...... 131
7.3. Thematic Relational Adjectives ..................................... 133
7.3.1 The Similarities between Th-adjectives and Genitives ...................... 133
7.3.2. The Differences between Th-adjectivenitives ..................... 136
7.3.3. Intermit Summary ............................................................................... 138
7.4. Complex Event Nominals vs. Simple Event Nominals ... 139
7.4.1 Cornilescu’s Approach of Romanian Nominalizations ..................... 141
7.4.2. The Aspectual Interpretation of the NO and NS Structures ............... 145
7.4.3. Cornilescu’s Account of the Dichotomy Infinitive vs. Supine ............ 150
7.4.4. Conclusions ........................................................................................ 152
7.5. Thematic Adjectives and Nominalizations ..................... 153
7.5.1 Noun-Object Structures with Th-adjectives ....................................... 155
7.6. The Syntactic Analysis of Th-Adjectives – a proposal ... 157
7.6.1. Noun-Object Th-adjective .................................................................. 157
7.6.2. De Phrases in Romance ..... 159
7.6.2.1 De Phrases vs. Th-adjectives ................................................. 165
7.6.2.2. Conclusions ........................................... 169
7.6.3. Noun-Subject Th-adjective .................................. 170
7.6.3.1. Ethnic Adjectives in Romance ................ 170
7.6.3.2. The Morpho-syntactic Analysis of EAs . 175
7.7. Conclusions..................................................................................................... 196

8. The Syntax of Classificatory Adjectives 198
8.1. Introduction ................................................................................................... 198
8.2. The Contrastive Context ................ 202
8.3. Classificatory Adjectives and de Modifier Phrases ....... 205
8.4. The Syntactic Analysis of Classificatory Adjectives ...................................... 207
8.5. Conclusions .................................................................... 211

9. Relational Adjectives as Compounding across languages .................................... 212
9.1. Introduction: A Novel Classification of Compounding . 212
9.2. The Aim of the Chapter .................................................................................. 213
9.3. Subordinate Compounds – a classification ................... 213
9.3.1. Morpho-syntactic Differences in Subordinate Compounding ........... 216
9.3.2. De phrases vs. Th-adjectives .............................................................. 220
9.4. Attributive Compounding ............................................................................... 224
9.4.1. Primary (‘root’) Compounds vs. Cl-adjectives .. 227
9.4.2. Modificational Synthetic Compounds vs. Cl-adjectives ..................... 230
9.5. De phrases and Relational Adjectives as Compounds – pros and cons ........ 233
9.6. Conclusions .................................................................................................... 238

10. Conclusion & Questions for Future Research ....................................................... 240

References ................................................................................. 245

Abstract

This thesis, as indicated by its title, investigates the morpho-syntactic and syntactic properties
of Relational adjectives at the Syntax/Morphology interface. More concretely, I provide an
analysis of a special case of morpho-syntactic derivation which represents a puzzle for
Distributed Morphology i.e., the case of Relational adjectives which have the semantic
interpretation of nouns while exhibiting the formal properties of adjectives. Hence, I
syntactically explore Relational adjectives from a micro-dimension as underlying nouns to a
macro-dimension as compounding.
From a more theoretical perspective, this thesis is meant to provide additional support
to the Distributed Morphology approach according to which certain morphemes such
Agreement (AGR) nodes or Case features are added after syntax as they are demanded by
language-specific requirements and are never essential to semantic interpretation. A specific
case of syntax/ morphology mismatch is the status of Relational adjectives as nouns in the
syntax and adjectives in the morphological structure (PF). In the spirit of Embick & Noyer
(2005), I argue that the Case features of Thematic adjectives are relevant only at PF,
conditioning the choice of Vocabulary Items expressing Case. More explicitly, the deficient
Case features of Thematic adjectives are valued only at PF, conditioning the choice of
introducing the Agreement node (AGR) where the noun turns into an adjective through
suffixation or introducing the Case feature Genitive which is spell-out as de preposition in
Romance languages.
The overarching goal of this thesis is to show that derivation and compounding
represent cases of morphology-as-syntax. In the light of this hypothesis, I regard Relational
adjectives in Romance as crosslinguistically corresponding to two types of Compounding, i.e.,
Thematic adjectives to subordinate compounds while Classificatory adjectives to attributive
ones.
All in all, in spite of the fact that Relational adjectives, as cases of transpositions,
represent a puzzle for DM due to their syntax/morphology mismatches, this thesis will show
that the dual character of Relational adjectives as nouns and adjectives at the same time can
be syntactically accounted for within the framework of Distributed Morphology.