Decomposing Path : The Nanosyntax of Directional Expressions
AuthorPantcheva, Marina Blagoeva
In my thesis, I investigate directional expressions cross-linguistically. I examine the morpho-syntactic structure of expressions of Goal (to the house), Source (from the house), Route (through the house), non-transitional paths (towards the house) and, finally, delimited paths (up to the house). I conclude that all these types of directional expressions are of different syntactic complexity. Precisely, Source expressions (from) are formed on the basis of Goal expressions (to) and Route expressions (via) are formed on the basis of Source expressions (from). Similarly, non-transitional paths (towards, away from) are based on the corresponding transitional path (to, from) and delimited paths (up to) are based on the corresponding non-delimited path (to). Assuming that morphological complexity is reflected in syntax, I take this containment relationship to indicate that the syntactic structure of Route expressions embeds the structure of Source expressions, which embed Goal expressions. Likewise, non-transitional paths embed transitional paths and delimited paths embed non-delimited paths. This leads me to decomposing the Path head, argued to be present in directional phrases, into five distinct heads: Goal, Source, Route, Scale and Bound. Adopting the Nanosyntax theory of grammar, I explore the lexicalization of the decomposed Path structure and show how it captures the morphological make-up and the diversity of directional expressions across languages, as well as the restrictions which apply to them. Finally, I test the predictions against the empirical domain of syncretisms between the spatial roles Route, Source, Goal, and Location. I show that the decomposed Path structure and the lexicalization theory I adopt capture syncretism patterns that are widely attested among languages and ban those syncretism patterns that are unattested.
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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