Ryan Bennett publishes in Lingusitic Inquiry

May 18, 2016

Yale assistant professor Ryan Bennett published an article in the latest issue of the journal Linguistic Inquiry, alongside collaborators Emily Elfner and Jim McCloskey. The article, “Lightest to the Right: An Apparently Anomalous Displacement in Irish” explains the apparent rightward movement of certain Irish pronouns as the result of prosodic factors. An abstract appears below.

This article analyzes mismatches between syntactic and prosodic constituency in Irish and attempts to understand those mismatches in terms of recent proposals about the nature of the syntax-prosody interface. It argues in particular that such mismatches are best understood in terms of Selkirk’s (2011) Match Theory, working in concert with constraints concerned with rhythm and phonological balance. An apparently anomalous rightward movement that seems to target certain pronouns and shift them rightward is shown to be fundamentally a phonological process: a prosodic response to a prosodic dilemma. The article thereby adds to a growing body of evidence for the role of phonological factors in shaping constituent order.

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