University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Ling Lunch: Coppe van Urk

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
12:30pm – 1:30pm

Storrs Campus
Oak 338

Coppe van Urk (MIT) will be giving a Ling Lunch presentation titled: "Phrasal movement in Dinka".

Abstract: In this talk, I examine the syntax of phrasal movement, drawing on fieldwork on Dinka (Nilotic; South Sudan), a language that combines Germanic verb-second with an Austronesian-style voice system. Most theoretical approaches to syntactic structure in some way distinguish at least three types of displacement: A-movement, A'-movement, and intermediate movement steps of a successive-cyclic dependency. I show that, in Dinka, these three movement types make use of the same two positions in the clause, one at the edge of the clause and one at the edge of the verb phrase, and have the same morphosyntactic repercussions for verb-second, voice, case, agreement, and binding. This is surprising, given that many attempts to make sense of the differences between various kinds of phrasal movement exploit the fact that they often target distinct syntactic positions. Instead, I suggest that the Dinka facts argue for the conclusion that all types of phrasal movement are established in the same way, as the reflex of a featural relation between a probe and a goal (Chomsky 1995, 2000, 2001), with the differences between them deriving only from independent properties of the features involved.

More information at:


Emma Nguyen,, 443-449-0584

Linguistics Department (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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