20180818_152104

Classes at NYI are underway!

The first week of NYI classes is over, and with it, my part in the “3 puzzles in syntax and semantics” is done. I talked about eventive nominalizations in Russian (like: разрушение города врагом ‘the enemy’s destruction of the city’). I’m now passing the baton to Dan Altshuler and then to Omer Preminger.

Now I will be teaching just one class, “Languages of the World: An Introduction to Linguistic Typology”. I have 35 students from 10 countries in that class. It’s hectic but fun!

Also, on Thursday I will be giving a general lecture at NYI, “How to reconstruct languages of the past… and what for?” — I’m looking forward to that.

20180818_152104

Invited talk at UCLA this Friday!

This Friday I will be presenting our join work with Ekaterina Lyutikova at the UCLA Department of Linguistics. My talk is entitled “WHAT IS CASE? A VIEW FROM RUSSIA”

Abstract: In recent years, syntacticians have showed a renewed interest in case marking, and two new theories have been competing as the best account of case-related phenomena: the Inherent Case Theory (ICT), put forward by Woolford (2006), among others, and the Dependent Case Theory (DCT), advocated recently by Baker (2015) and Baker and Bobaljik (2017). The proponents of the DCT, in particular, argue it to be the best account of three phenomena: (1) languages with ergative alignment, (2) applicative and other similar alternations, where the introduction of an additional argument (with no change to the thematic roles of other arguments) changes the case marking, and (3) Differential Object Marking. In this talk, I challenge those claims by bringing to the table data from three languages spoken in Russia: Russian, Agul and Tatar. I further show that the ICT can handle such data better than the DCT.

(The map on the right illustrates the location of Agul in Dagestan, listed as Agu.)