This article examines the knowledge of topic and subject particles in heritage speakers and L2 learners of Japanese and Korean. We assume that topic marking is mediated at the syntax-information structure interface, while subject marking pertains to narrow syntax. In comparing phenomena mediated at different levels of linguistic organization, we provide evidence for the hypothesis that information structure-level phenomena present greater challenges for bilingual speakers than those mediated within syntax. While these results may be interpreted as evidence of generalized interface-related deficits, we show that such a global explanation is not supported. Instead, a more nuanced account is developed, based on the recognition of different types of topic (anaphoric, generic, and contrastive) and different types of subject (descriptive and exhaustive). Under the proposed account, the non-native speakers’ deficits follow from three unrelated effects: the status of topic as an interface category, structural complexity, and the memory demands necessary for its interpretation in context.
This chapter presents several approaches to the syntax of verb-initial (V1) languages with a special emphasis on Mayan and Austronesian languages. Some V1 languages are strictly VSO, others are VOS, and a significant number combine both orders. This chapter focuses on data from VSO/VOS languages and the factors that underlie these alternations. A number of V1 languages can be more adequately characterized as predicate-initial, with V1 being just a subset of clause-initial predicates. The chapter presents a number of structural properties that are or may be associated with V1 and discusses possible implicational relations between such properties and V1. While there are certain common characteristics observed across V1 languages, it is also clear that there are several distinct subtypes of V1. These subtypes call for different syntactic analyses; main approaches include the derivation of V1 via phrasal movement (VP-raising) and its derivation via head-movement (verb-raising). Other syntactic approaches to the derivation of V1 include the parametrization of specifier direction within a single language, non-configurational syntax, and subject lowering. In addition to these purely syntactic analyses, several recent approaches place the derivation of V1 outside syntax or at the syntax-PF interface. Careful, in-depth analyses of individual languages are required to test the different approaches to V1; in quite a few cases such analyses are still lacking.
A description of Tsez syntax, created as part of the volume “A Grammar of Tsez” prepared by Bernard Comrie and myself. Because this work is still a draft, chapters are not numbered, and each chapter has its own example numbering. I am posting it now in hopes of getting comments, criticisms, and suggestions before the description is sent to the publishers.
QuantiVer scope is an interface phenomenon that raises importantquestions concerning the processing of not only monolingual but alsobilingual speakers. In this paper, we build upon the Vndings by Scontraset al. (to appear) by investigating and comparing the scope interpretationsavailable for doubly quantiVed sentences such as Everyshark attacked a pirate not only in Mandarin Chinese and English, butcrucially in heritage Mandarin. Our results reinforce that (i) Mandarindoes not exhibit inverse scope; and (ii) English exhibits inverse scopeeven when a quantiVer is embedded in a relative clause, thus supportingthe head-raising analysis of relativization (Vergnaud 1974, Kayne1994). They also prove that (iii) heritage Mandarin does not demonstrateinverse scope, which conforms to the Processing Scope Economyprinciple (Anderson 2004).