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The Structure of Words at the Interfaces$
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Heather Newell, Máire Noonan, Glyne Piggott, and Lisa deMena Travis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198778264.001.0001

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Adjuncts as a diagnostic of polysynthetic word formation in Inuit

Adjuncts as a diagnostic of polysynthetic word formation in Inuit

(p.297) 13 Adjuncts as a diagnostic of polysynthetic word formation in Inuit
The Structure of Words at the Interfaces

Richard Compton

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines polysynthetic word formation in Inuit (Eskimo-Aleut), using the presence and variable ordering of a closed class of adverbs within verbal complexes as a diagnostic device to evaluate the adequacy of different accounts of word formation. It is argued that a head movement account of Mirror Principle orders within Inuit words undergenerates with respect to the observed variation in adverb ordering, particularly if a fixed hierarchy of adverbial functional projections is assumed, as in Cinque (1999). Instead, it is shown that an analysis that employs a right-headed structure, XP-sized phasal words, and Ernst’s (2002) semantically based framework of adverb licensing better captures the observed variation.

Keywords:   polysynthesis, word formation, adverbs, adjuncts, head movement, modification, antisymmetry, Inuktitut, Inuit, Eskimo-Aleut

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