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Contiguity Theory$
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Norvin Richards

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034425

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034425.001.0001

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Affix Support and the EPP

Affix Support and the EPP

(p.11) 2 Affix Support and the EPP
Contiguity Theory

Norvin Richards

The MIT Press

This chapter proposes a condition of Affix Support, which requires affixes to have material with metrical structure in the direction of affixation. The condition accounts for the distribution of EPP in many languages: languages like Spanish lack EPP because (cf. Oltra-Massuet and Arregi) Spanish tense suffixes are preceded by stress, while languages like English and French have the EPP because their tense suffixes are not reliably preceded by stress, and hence must have a phrase in their specifier (which will consist of at least one stressed word), and languages like Irish, Tagalog, and Greek lack EPP because their tense morphemes are not suffixes, and hence do not need metrical material to their left. The theory is tested against the data in the World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS) for verb-initial and verb-final languages, and the theory is shown to be correct 97% of the time. The chapter argues that the syntactic computation does not consider the final phonological representation, but is blind to lexical idiosyncrasies: for example, in Spanish and Russian, in which verb-internal metrical boundaries satisfy Affix Support for suffixes, verbs with irregular patterns of stress are no more subject to the EPP than verbs with the regular pattern.

Keywords:   EPP, affixes, stress, WALS, Spanish, Irish, Russian

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