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Goksel, Ash (1993) Levels of representation and argument structure in Turkish. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028667

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Abstract

This is a study of the argument structure of complex predicates in Turkish. The central hypothesis is that grammatical function changing phenomena such as morphological causativisation, passivisation and reflexivisation exhibit the interaction of processes of grammar and general reasoning. The work aims at explaining the properties of these constructions in the newly emerging framework of Labelled Deductive Systems (Gabbay 1990, Gabbay and Kempson 1992a,b), a model which articulates grammar as a natural deductive system. Part I provides the theoretical background for the analysis of complex predicates. The first chapter introduces the issues surrounding the representation of complex predicates and argues against a particular multi-stratal approach, syntactic incorporation. In the second chapter complex predicates are investigated within Licensing Grammar, a two-level syntactic model. It is argued that although this model accounts for certain asymmetries by virtue of characterising syntax and logic separately, its commitment to a static understanding of logic undermines its explanatory capacity. The third chapter lays out the properties of the model which is used in the remainder of the dissertation. The framework of LDS characterises linguistic phenomena as a process whereby instructions provided by lexical specifications dynamically interact, and syntactic structures unfold as these specifications are implemented. Part II is an analysis of causativisation, passivisation and reflexivisation in Turkish. It is argued that causativisation involves an altogether different mechanism from passivisation and reflexivisation. The causative affix in Turkish has declarative content and behaves like a predicate, whereas passivisation and reflexivisation are instructions operating on the argument structure of verbs. Chapter IV focuses on causativisation. It is shown that LDS, with its procedural apparatus, captures the problems surrounding the clausal nature of causativisation quite naturally. It is also argued that case marking in causative constructions, a previously problematic issue, receives a straightforward explanation once case marking is taken to give instructions for structure building in the combinatorial process. In Chapter V I propose a unitary account for passives and reflexives in Turkish. I suggest that both involve argument absorption defined through a notion of logical dependency, the difference between them being stated in terms of the argument to be absorbed. The interaction of these processes with case marking is analysed and the analysis of case marking is shown to make correct predictions. In Chapter VI the proposed analysis is extended to combinations of causatives, passives and reflexives and their interaction with case marking. We see that separating causativisation as a process which is radically distinct from the other two is justified and that the proposed properties of case marking are verified. Some sequences which remain problematic for all analyses are also discussed. The final chapter discusses the status of certain concepts and principles of Universal Grammar (the Projection Principle, Theta Theory, Case Theory, the Mirror Principle) in the light of the newly emerging model of LDS. With respect to configurationality, I argue that hierarchy and linearity need to be characterised separately, a possibility which is available in the framework of LDS.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028667
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:00
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/28667

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