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Title: The Structure of the Bangla DP
Authors: Bhattacharya, Tanmoy
Keywords: Indo-European Languages
Indo-Iranian Languages
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: University College, London
Abstract: The thesis offers a description and analysis of the DP in the Eastern Indo-Aryan language Bangla (Bengali). In particular, it re-establishes the dominant theme in the DP literature of showing the syntactic equivalence between the structure of the clause and that of the DP. This is done on the one hand by investigating various clause-like syntactic phenomena like specificity, deixis and aspect inside the DP and on the other by working out NP movement inside the DP -- the common theme across chapters 2-4. Chapter 1 provides an outline of the thesis and introduces relevant parts of the minimalist and the antisymmetry framework adopted for this study. In addition, it suggests a trigger for Merge and proposes that a condition governing XP movements to multiple specifiers in clauses is operative in DPs as well. The second chapter discusses a three layered structure of the DP structure for Bangla where the layer intermediate between DP and NP is the Quantifier Phrase. The proposed structure accounts for the DP-internal specificity in Bangla and suggests that specific NPs move out of the deepest NP-shell by LF. This is identified as the DP-internal ‘Object’ Shift and constitutes the first instance of DPinternal NP movement. In the following chapter, the three-layered DP structure is re-examined on the basis of data from kinship terms. Specifically, it is shown that the possessive is generated in the nP shell of the DP but moves up to its derived position of [Spec,DP] for reasons of feature checking. It is proposed that the demonstrative is an XP and is the specifier of a ‘focus-related’ head F, located between the D and the Q heads. NP movement proposed in this chapter is identified as Kinship Inversion and is shown to be triggered by the same feature of specificity explored in chapter 2. The analysis exploits two different types of NP movement within the DP which accounts for DP-internal deixis. The last chapter discusses the structure of the gerund phrase and proposes that it too has the structure of a DP. Both the external and the internal distribution of the gerund is investigated which show that they exhibit both nominal and verbal properties. This is reflected in the proposed derivation of gerunds which involve leftward NP movement out of a VP embedded inside an Aspect Phrase. The presence of aspectual features like [±PERFECT] and [±DELIMITED] drive this movement. This final evidence for DP-internal NP movement leads us towards the conclusion that NP movement inside the DP is a pervasive phenomenon in Bangla.
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