25.2852, Diss: Georgian; Morphology: Wier: 'Georgian Morphosyntax and Feature Hierarchies in Natural Language'

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LINGUIST List: Vol-25-2852. Mon Jul 07 2014. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 25.2852, Diss: Georgian; Morphology: Wier: 'Georgian Morphosyntax and Feature Hierarchies in Natural Language'

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Date: Mon, 07 Jul 2014 14:15:47
From: Thomas Wier [t.wier at freeuni.edu.ge]
Subject: Georgian Morphosyntax and Feature Hierarchies in Natural Language

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Institution: University of Chicago 
Program: Department of Linguistics 
Dissertation Status: Completed 
Degree Date: 2011 

Author: Thomas R Wier

Dissertation Title: Georgian Morphosyntax and Feature Hierarchies in Natural

Dissertation URL:  https://www.academia.edu/2056386/Georgian_Morphosyntax_and_Feature_Hierarch

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology

Subject Language(s): Georgian (kat)

Dissertation Director(s):
Amy Dahlstrom
Victor Friedman
Michael Silverstein
Jerrold Sadock

Dissertation Abstract:

What are linguistic features, and how do they manifest themselves in 
natural languages? The Georgian language provides a particularly 
acute set of challenges to linguists in the way it questions received 
assumptions about grammatical functions, thematic relations, and 
natural language categorization. This dissertation tackles these facts 
by examining first what the evidence for different domains of grammar 
are in Georgian. How do data from Georgian verb morphology 
challenge traditional assumptions underlying lexical incremental 
assumptions behind the morpheme? Do inversion facts argue for 
monostratal or multistratal conceptualizations of grammatical 
functions? The answer to both of these questions is highly 
complicated, and requires an extensive look at the Georgian systems 
of case, agreement, tense, aspect, and modality. In particular I assess 
the viability of classical treatments such as Harris (1982), Anderson 
(1993), Marantz (1992), and Stump (2001) and find that Georgian 
poses problems for each one.  I go on to assess in the second part 
how differential feature hierarchies in morphology versus syntax argue 
for the existence of distinct feature geometries.  Feature hierarchies, it 
turns out, are epiphenomena of set-theoretical properties of these 
geometries.  In the last chapter, I discuss the literature on feature 
hierarchies arguing how many scholars have understood this highly 
abstract area of grammatical theorizing.

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