Talk: A Model-Theoretic Approach for Greenberg’s Universal 20?

Although there are several ways to account for the typological data available concerning J.H. Greenberg’s Universal 20, in my MA thesis I tried to sketch a single broader frame to account for all the various insights given by previous researches. What I came up with was an explanation of the data that is ascribable to a few principles: first, the interaction within the nominal domain of two Final-Over-Final-Constraints (one being the original one posited by T. Biberauer, A. Holmberg, M. Sheehan and I. Roberts and the other one being postulated by me); second, a strict ban on two linear orderings: [Numeral Demonstrative Noun] and [Adjective Numeral Noun].
By pushing forward the inquiry on a metatheoretic syntactic level, there are two aspects that I find highly interesting: first, G.K. Pullum’s way of conceiving the term “formalization” overlaps with what K. Hengeveld proposed back in 1999. Second, the original Final-Over-Final syntactic principle is no longer regarded as a “Constraint” by its authors, but rather as a “Condition” applied to a Minimalist framework; hence, Minimalism is departing from its original Generative-Enumerative state, getting (again) towards a hybridization with a Model-Theoretic Approach (see works by S. Müller, G.K. Pullum and B.C. Scholz). However, instead of fostering this process, one could simply ask: is a pure Model-Theoretic Approach the best way to describe the Final-Over-Final-Constraint and to account for my way of explaining U20?

The talk focuses on a theoretical topic, but it unavoidably involves typological considerations as well.


Day: 2020-11-21
Start time: 09:00
Duration: 01:00
Room: Odille Morison
Track: Theoretical Linguistics
Language: en



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