A stock photo of students listening to a lecture.

Verb Movement and Cartography in English and Romance

Speaker: 
Ian Roberts (University of Cambridge)
Event time: 
Monday, April 3, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Location: 
Rosenfeld Hall See map
109 Grove Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

I begin by presenting the recent important proposals in Schifano (2014, 2015a,b) showing that across Romance there are at least four distinct landing sites in the TMA zone of the clause for finite lexical verbs, all of them higher than the position of the English lexical verb and lower than the V2 landing site. I then show, on the basis of the interaction of verb- and object-placement with very low adverbs in the Cinque (1999) hierarchy, that English has low vP-fronting, to SpecVoiceP. Both Romance and English verb-movement license a very low event variable (arguably a condition on “anchoring” the clause to the utterance situation, in Wiltschko’s 2014 sense). I then briefly consider the English auxiliary system, drawing largely on Harwood (2013). The “be-support” positions appear to map on to Calabrese’s (2015) thematic-vowel positions in the Latin/Romance verb. Finally, I briefly consider three further kinds of system: the fully analytical TMA system of Haitian Creole, and two kinds of V-initial system, comparing Welsh/Irish with Niuean. A range of quite simple parameters governing V-movement and licensing the TMA field emerges.

Event Type: 
Colloquia