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The passive-reflexive syncretism: a crosslinguistic study.

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João Paulo Lazzarini Cyrino
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Ana Paula Scher; Alessandro Boechat de Medeiros; Maria Filomena Spatti Sândalo; Marcello Modesto dos Santos; Luciana Raccanello Storto
Advisor: Ana Paula Scher

The Passive-Reflexive Syncretism is a term describing the sharing of the same morphological marking in Reflexive, Passive and Anticausative Constructions. The phenomenon is widely seen across languages and Works within the Generative Framework have been attempting to account to it in basically two ways: (i) by understanding the syncretism as a consequence of a common syntactical property among the contexts sharing the morpheme or (ii) by understanding it as a consequence of a common semantic representation among these contexts. It is shown that both approaches are problematic in theoretical and empirical means. Besides this, they have not been taking into account important insights from comparative linguistics, which has been dealing with these phenomena since the end of the 60\'s. The present thesis investigates the syncretism in depth, taking into account a significant number of languages and linking its observations with contributions from Linguistic Typology and Generative Theory, in an attempt to address two fundamental questions: (i) Why this syncretism is so common across languages? (ii) What is the status of the shared marking. These questions could be answered by taking into account classical definitions in linguistics, such as the first definition of anticausative verbs (Nedjalkov & Silnickij, 1969) and the definitions for the different valency alternations. On the other hand, the Distributed Morphology development from Generative Grammar (Halle & Marantz, 1993) allowed for a transparent approach towards the relation between morphology and syntax, contributing to a better understanding of the structural environments involved in the syncretism. The phenomenon is considered a case of superaplication of anaphors, in Heinat\'s (2006) sense, in the syntactic structure. This superaplication is only possible given some conditions, being the main one the Morphological Dependency of the syncretic marking. This dependency is derived either during syntactic derivation or after the insertion of phonological content, as told by the Distributed Morphology\'s view on the Architecture of Grammar. The different distributions shown by the syncretism across languages can be explained by both syntactic properties of the language and the moments described above, when the anaphor becomes morphological dependent, which also helps differentiating clitics/weak pronouns from affixes. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/21973-1 - The Passive-Reflexive Syncretism: A Cross-linguistic Study
Grantee:João Paulo Lazzarini Cyrino
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate