Ruth Kramer : Downloadable Papers and Handouts

Amharic (and Beyond) Morphosyntax and Semantics

To appear. A Novel Kind of Gender Syncretism. In Gender and Noun Classification. Oxford: OUP.
[I analyze of a kind of syncretism that has not been paid much attention in the theoretical linguistic literature: the re-use of a gendered singular form in the plural for both genders. This is a pre-publication version.]

2018a. Doubled Clitics are Pronouns: Amharic Objects (and Beyond). Natural Language and Linguistic Theory.
[This project is joint work with Mark Baker. Like it says on the tin: doubled clitics are pronouns, and this provides a way to understand the restrictions on clitic doubling of objects in Amharic. This is a pre-publication version.]

2018b. Number and Gender Agreement in Saudi Arabic: Morphology vs. Syntax. Proceedings of TLS 17.
[This project is joint work with Lindley Winchester. Nonhuman plural nouns trigger feminine singular agreement in Hijazi and Najdi Arabic. We argue that this is a syntactic effect.]

2017. General Number nouns in Amharic Lack NumP. In Asking the Right Questions: Essays in Honor of Sandra Chung.
[A quick look at nouns that can be interpreted as either singular or plural in Amharic, and some argumentation that they are different from other nouns in that they lack a Num(ber)P.]

2016a. A Split Analysis of Plurality: Number in Amharic. Linguistic Inquiry 47. 527-559.
[Plural morphemes are conventionally analyzed as realizations of the Num(ber) head of NumP. However, much recent morphosyntactic research has investigated 'idiosyncratic' plural systems where some or all of the plural morphemes are not realizations of Num. In Amharic, there is considerable evidence that plural morphology is split between two heads: Num and the nominalizing head n. The paper thus provides further empirical evidence that the morphosyntax of plurality does not only involve Num, and also develops a novel Distributed Morphology analysis of the relationship between 'idiosyncratic' plurality and conventional plurality within the same language. This is a pre-publication version.]

2016b. The Location of Gender Features in the Syntax. Language and Linguistics Compass 10. 661-677.
[A detailed look at where gender features are located in the syntactic structure of a DP. This is a pre-publication version.]

2016c. Syncretism in Paradigm Function Morphology and Distributed Morphology. In Morphological Metatheory. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
[A cross-theory comparison of approaches to syncretism. This is a pre-publication version.]

2015. The Morphosyntax of Gender. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[This book presents a new cross-linguistic analysis of gender and its effects on morphosyntax. It addresses questions including the syntactic location of gender features; the role of natural gender; and the relationship between syntactic gender features and the morphological realization of gender. This is a link to the Amazon page; please email me if you have difficulties with access.]

2014a. Clitic Doubling or Object Agreement: The View from Amharic. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 32. 593-634.
[I present evidence that object markers in Amharic are a kind of pronominal clitic, and present a broad array of diagnostics for distinguishing between clitics and agreement. This is a pre-publication version.]

2014b. Rethinking Amharic Prepositions as Case Markers Inserted at PF. Lingua 145. 141-172.
[This project is joint work with Mark Baker. Using primarily morphosyntactic evidence, we argue that certain morphemes which are traditionally classified as prepositions are in fact semantic case markers. We then develop a post-syntactic account of semantic case in Amharic. This is a pre-publication version.]

2014c. Gender in Amharic: A Morphosyntactic Approach to Natural and Grammatical Gender. Language Sciences 43. 102-115.
[Within the literature on gender, morphosyntactic approaches to natural gender (also called biological gender or sex) are few and far between. In this paper, I argue that natural gender should play a central role in the morphosyntax of gender, using evidence from the otherwise problematic gender system of Amharic. I began this strand of research in my doctoral dissertation (see below); this paper also ended up as a chapter of the 2015 book. This is a pre-publication version. ]

2014d. A New Approach to Clitic Doubling in Basque. Poster presented at LSA 2014.
[This project is joint work with Laura Siebecker. We extend the clitic doubling analysis developed for Amharic in [Kramer 2014a] to clitic doubling in Basque.]

2013a. Plural Shifted Indexicals are Plural: Evidence from Amharic. Handout from a paper presented at NELS 44.
[This project is joint work with Chris LaTerza, Morgan Rood, Dustin Chacon, and JJ Johnson. Bound plural pronouns in attitude reports have often been treated as semantically singular, mostly due to the existence of dependent readings and the fact that some of these pronouns must be interpreted de se. We present novel evidence that plural shifted indexicals in Amharic are always semantically plural, even though they permit dependent readings and are obligatorily de se. We modify existing accounts of the semantics of de se reports to account for these facts by building on ideas from the semantic literature on plurality.]

2013b. Applicative Verbs in Amharic. Handout from a paper presented at the Afranaph Project Development Workshop II.
[This is another joint project with Mark Baker. We argue that so-called applicative markers in Amharic are in fact bi-morphemic agreement markers.]

2012. Verb-Medial Word Orders in Amharic . Journal of Afroasiatic Languages 5. 75-104.
[Verb-medial word orders have received little attention in descriptive work on Amharic, and pose a theoretical challenge for head-final approaches to the language. In this paper, Aviad Eilam and I begin to document and analyze verb-mediality in Amharic, ultimately arguing for a rightward scrambling analysis that preserves the uniform head-finality of Amharic syntax.]

2010. The Amharic Definite Marker and the Syntax-Morphology Interface. Syntax 13. 196-240.
[The Amharic definite marker provides evidence that some morphological operations (like Local Dislocation) are subject to the Phase Impenetrability Condition. This is a pre-publication version of the paper. Please contact me before distributing or citing. A user-friendly handout version is here. ]

2009. Definite Markers, Phi Features and Agreement: A Morphosyntactic Investigation of the Amharic DP. Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz.
[The dissertation has two inter-related goals: (i) to describe and provide novel analyses of three types of important phenomena within Amharic DPs and (ii) to explore the properties of the syntax-morphology interface. The core phenomena explicated are the unusual distribution of the definite marker, the gender system (which relies heavily on natural/biological gender), and the plural system (which involves the relations between several distinct types of plurals). The dissertation shows how these phenomena have important ramifications for morphosyntactic cyclicity, the morphosyntactic treatment of phi-features, and the relationship between the syntax and morphology of agreement.]

Egyptian Syntax (and Morphophonology)

2013. The Position of Numerals in Middle Egyptian: Evidence from Universals of Word Order. Lingua Aegyptia 21. 131-137.
[It has long been suspected that Middle Egyptian cardinal numerals are positioned after the noun due to orthographic convention. In this short article, I present novel support for this idea by comparing the word order of noun phrases in Middle Egyptian to typological universals of noun phrase word order. This is a pre-publication version.]

2012. Egyptian. Chapter in the volume Semitic and Afroasiatic: Challenges and Opportunities.
[This paper is a description of the phonology, morphology and syntax of all stages of the Ancient Egyptian language, especially in comparison to the Semitic languages. This is a pre-publication version.]

2009. VSO and SVO word order in Middle Egyptian. In Afroasiatic Studies in Memory of Robert Hetzron, ed. C. Häberl. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press. 92-147.
[This paper derives the dominant (VSO) and alternative (SVO) word orders in Middle Egyptian, demonstrating how their particular properties lead to an agreement asymmetry (rich agreement in SVO, no agreement in VSO). The analysis of the agreement asymmetry appeals to morphological agreement, and provides support for the idea of cyclic spell-out by phase.]

2008. Virtual relative clauses in Middle Egyptian. In The Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society (CLS 40). Volume 2. eds. N. Adams et al. 135-149.
[The so-called 'virtual' relative clauses of Middle Egyptian display a number of unusual properties compared to other Middle Egyptian relative clauses. These properties are accounted under for under a correlative analysis.]

2006. Root and pattern morphology in Coptic: Evidence for the root. In The Proceedings of NELS 36, eds. C. Davis, A.R. Deal and Y. Zabbal. 399-412. Amherst: GLSA.
[Many recent accounts of root and pattern morphology downplay or eliminate the role of the consonantal root in word formation, but evidence from Coptic demonstrates that the root is essential. A more detailed version of the paper is in Phonology at Santa Cruz 7, and available here.]

Polarity Particles

2011. Polarity particles: an ellipsis account. In The Proceedings of NELS 39. Amherst: GLSA. (co-authored with Kyle Rawlins)
[Polarity particles (yes and no) have a surprisingly complex distribution, but have been very understudied. This paper develops an ellipsis account of polarity particles that successfully predicts their behavior in a range of environments and makes new connections to recent work on fragment answers.]


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