Seminar: "A syntactic account of variation in Hindi-Urdu participles" by Prof. Tanmoy Bhattacharya, Department of Linguistics, DU
Abstract of the Talk:
Optionality in participial agreement with fronted objects was noticed theoretically early on, in Kayne (1989), and has been studied in many languages since. Even before, also noticed was a certain kind of variation is such cases. Cinque (1975) showed that other Romance languages show up a difference between the two types of fronted objects. Furthermore, it has also become known that even within Romance there are great parametric differences (Italian with obligatory agreement and Spanish with obligatory non-agreement in this case of fronted object clitic) along with other differences within dialects of these languages. Theoretically, such agreement was implemented through the presence of a low Agr position.
In this talk, I will take up the case of optionality and variation in Hindi-Urdu participles. The two issues that form the foundation of this talk are (i) a historical account of the role of object agreement, and (ii) the role of variation in grammar. With respect to (i), I will take up the case of the genesis of object-Agr in theoretical syntax in general, and with respect to (ii), I will discuss the case of agreement variation; both these points will be illustrated with data from relative and adverbial participle agreement in Hindi-Urdu. Theoretically, it will be shown that standard Agree with a minor alteration in feature-valuation mechanism can account for the agreement variation noticed in these two domains. In particular, in the case of adverbial participle agreement, it will be shown that valued features of the matrix-T spread to Aux, Asp, and in some cases the V inside the adjunct; whereas in case of relative participle agreement, although the object is relativized, the object features are nonetheless accessed by the T inside the vP, resulting in object agreement.
Brief Bio of the speaker:
Tanmoy Bhattacharya guides research on Syntax, Psycholinguistics, Gender, Disability, Deaf Education, and Sign Linguistics, at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Linguistics (CASL), University of Delhi. He has 2 PhDs in linguistics, one from the University of Hyderabad, India and the other from University College London, UK, the latter as a Commonwealth Scholar. His most recent book is: The Sign Language(s) of India, Orient BlackSwan, Delhi, 2014. He was Chief Editor of Indian Linguistics (2014-2017). Within the field of disability, he specialises in Inclusive Education, Linguistic Stereotypes and Prejudices, Disability Studies.