A dependent case analysis of pseudo noun incorporation in Wolof
Suzana Fong
June 2022

[new title: Nominal licensing via dependent case: the view from pseudo noun incorporation in Wolof] Bare nominals in Wolof can occur in the object position and they must be adjacent to the transitive verb that subcategorizes for them. They are, furthermore, narrow scope indefinites. These are properties usually attributed to Pseudo Noun Incorporation. However, there are two circumstances under which the requirement to be adjacent to the verb can be obviated: either a DP is introduced between the subject and the PNI-ed object or the latter is A'-moved. While the introduction of an additional argument and A'-movement are disparate phenomena, a dependent case analysis of nominal licensing (Branan, 2022) can account for why they both allow a PNI-ed object to not be adjacent to the verb in Wolof. Branan argues, following Levin (2015), that all nominals must be licensed with case, with case assignment being calculated in terms of dependent case (Marantz, 1991). In the impossibility of assigning case to a nominal, a last resort licensing strategy arises, namely, surface adjacency with the verb. Under the proposal that Branan makes about domains of case assignment and the position of case competitors in the sentential spine, bare nominal objects in Wolof cannot be licensed with case, hence they must be adjacent to the verb. However, the introduction of an additional argument provides a case competitor to a PNI-ed object, allowing it to do away with licensing via verb adjacency. Likewise, A'-moving a bare nominal object brings it close to the subject, which can transformationally act as a case competitor. I argue thus that a dependent case theory of PNI can provide a uniform analysis of the PNI distribution of bare nominals in Wolof. If correct, this analysis has two implications. Empirically, it provides further evidence that a strict adjacency condition cannot adequately characterize PNI crosslinguistically (Driemel, 2020). Theoretically, it motivates a reappraisal of the claim that dependent case and nominal licensing are necessarily incompatible with each other
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005314
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Accepted with revisions at Syntax
keywords: wolof; pseudo noun incorporation; bare nominal; nominal licensing, dependent case, syntax
previous versions: v2 [March 2021]
v1 [July 2020]
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