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Grad Student Colloquium - Stephen Tyndall & Jae-Young Shim

Friday, April 18, 2014
12:00 AM
3254 LSA

Phase-head Initiated Structure Building:Its Implications for Feature-Inheritance, Transfer and Internal Merge

Jae-Young Shim
(University of Michigan)

This paper explores an alternative way of structure building in minimalism (Chomsky 1993 et seq.) and proposes that along with other operations in Narrow Syntax (NS) such as Feature-Inheritance and Transfer, structure building is also initiated only by phase heads. Consequently, this paper takes one step further Chomsky’s (2013) generalization that all operations in NS are restricted to the phase level. This paper further investigates theory-internal, conceptual implications of phase-head initiated structure building for the motivations for other operations in NS, namely, Feature-Inheritance and Transfer (Chomsky 2007, 2008, Richards 2007) and argues 1) that no derivation can converge at the Conceptual-Intentional (CI) interface without the operation Feature-Inheritance (i.e., Feature-Inheritance is necessitated to satisfy interface conditions) and 2) that the operation Transfer is a natural by-product of (Internal-)Merge.  
Keywords: Structure-building, Phase-head, Feature-Inheritance, Transfer, Internal Merge  

Connecting Fragmentary Cuneiform Material into More Complete Corpora

Stephen Tyndall
(University of Michigan)

In this presentation, I examine the particular problems of connecting fragmentary cuneiform material into larger corpora. There are several distinct layers of challenges in this kind of corpus connection project, at the orthographic, morphological, and full-text levels of textual analysis. In particular, I examine a few different classification techniques and their relative utility in connecting transcribed Hittite tablet fragments to already-established larger Hittite texts. Further, I examine a few methods to improve transcription and digitization of of cuneiform material. These challenges and techniques are presented with respect to their applicability and utility in building these corpora, with the eventual goal of creating fuller, more connected, and more useful cuneiform corpora for scholarly work.