Morphological conditions on movement chain resolution: Inuktitut noun incorporation revisited
Michelle Yuan
September 2023

Recent research on the Copy Theory of Movement has suggested that the realization of movement chains may be regulated by well-formedness conditions governing complex word formation, such as the Stray Affix Filter (e.g. Nunes, 2004; Landau, 2006). This paper extends this idea to account for certain under- documented patterns of noun incorporation in Inuktitut (Eastern Canadian Inuit). I provide novel data showing that, in Inuktitut, incorporated nominals are able to participate in case and agreement alternations and undergo phrasal movement—thus, they are syntactically active despite being incorporated into the verb. These findings challenge prior characterizations of Inuit incorporation, especially ones in which incorporated nouns are treated as structurally reduced and thus syntactically inert (e.g. Bok-Bennema and Groos, 1988; van Geenhoven, 1998; Johns, 2007; Branigan and Wharram, 2019). I instead pursue an analysis in which incorporation in at least Inuktitut takes place solely to satisfy the morphosyntactic requirements of certain verbs that are lexically specified as affixal (cf. Sadock, 1985, 1991). That incorporated nouns invariably surface within the verb complex even when extracted follows straightforwardly from the aforementioned interaction between chain resolution and the Stray Affix Filter.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006958
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: resubmitted
keywords: inuktitut, inuit, noun incorporation, word formation, chain resolution, copy theory of movement, stray affix filter, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v2 [December 2022]
v1 [November 2022]
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