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‘Other’ and ‘More’ in San Sebasti�n del Monte Mixtec and Beyond

  • Author(s): Mantenuto, Iara
  • Advisor(s): Munro, Pamela;
  • Sch�tze, Carson
  • et al.

This dissertation offers a definition of “disanaphor morphemes.” I claim that all disanaphor morphemes are deep anaphors indicating a non-identity relationship between the DP that contains them and their antecedent. I listed three characteristics that the disanaphor DPs have, they select an antecedent from the context, they share a common property with their antecedent and they are distinct from their antecedent.

I argue that disanaphors morphemes are present in different languages and I show how to conceive a single core meaning for elements that present what superficially seem to be two meanings (distinct and distinct kind), and how to pragmatically derive a third meaning (additional). Furthermore, I explore the extent to which a language that displays this apparent homophony also shares the same core meaning identified in other/else through an analysis of San Sebasti�n del Monte Mixtec (SSM).

An important contribution of this dissertation is its focus on a syntactic analysis of other/altro, which examines its different word orders within the DP and on how numerals interact with it, two questions that still lack a unified answer (Cinque 2016, Lechner 2010, Thomas 2011). I claim that disanaphor morphemes are located in two positions, one below the numeral projection but above the adjectival projection, and one above the numeral projection but below determiners and Q-adjectives. I demonstrate that each position in English is associated with a specific reading, depending on what the disanaphor other modifies. I also propose that the raising of other from its original position to the higher position is obligatory in some languages, as for example in Teramano, Abruzzese Italian and in other varieties of Italian. Moreover, I propose that the additive reading is not part of the meaning of other but that it can be triggered by the context, thus making other different from more. I then claim that the morpheme ga in SSM is a disanaphor morpheme when occurring DP-internally, and I demonstrate that the characteristics and distribution I proposed for disanaphors in Italian and English still holds for ga.

The secondary goal of this dissertation is to explain the occurrence of ga VP-internally, when it does not function as a disanaphor morpheme. VP-internally, ga can function as an additive morpheme or as a comparative morpheme, similar to English more. I offer a detailed description of the three comparative constructions in SSM: particle comparatives, locative comparatives and conjoined comparatives. I set this description within the typological claims made by Stassen (1985) and the more recent theoretical literature on comparatives; in so doing, I offered the argument that conjoined comparatives can co-occur with gradable predicates and that we need to expand both our typology as well as our analysis. I focused specifically on conjoined comparatives in SSM and I offered a possible analysis.

Finally, this dissertation offers a wider description of the grammar of SSM. This includes the language's phonology, word order, interrogatives, negation, adverbs, classifiers, aspects, and relative clauses among other topics in an overview of the linguistic features of the language. In particular I focused on those aspects of the language that are relevant for the determiner phrase and comparative constructions.

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