The Grammar of Repetition

Nupe grammar at the syntax–phonology interface

Jason Kandybowicz | Swarthmore College
ISBN 9789027255198 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027290656 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
Google Play logo
Displacement is a fundamental property of grammar. Typically, when an occurrence moves it is pronounced in only one environment. This was previously viewed as a primitive/irreducible property of grammar. Recent work, however, suggests that it follows from principled interactions between the syntactic and phonological components of grammar. As such, the phonetic character of movement chains can be seen as both a reflection of and probe into the syntax-phonology interface. This volume deals with repetition, an atypical outcome of movement operations in which displaced elements are pronounced multiple times. Although cross-linguistically rare, the phenomenon obtains robustly in Nupe, a Benue-Congo language of Nigeria. Repetition raises a tension of the descriptive-explanatory variety. In order to achieve both measures of adequacy, movement theory must be supplemented with an account of the conditions that drive and constrain multiple pronunciation. This book catalogs these conditions, bringing to light a number of undocumented aspects of Nupe grammar.
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 136] 2008.  xiii, 168 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“In this masterly account of the grammar of repetition Jason Kandybowicz uses descriptively meticulous and theoretically sophisticated analyses of the syntax of Nupe to illuminate our understanding of the nature of language. He has combined original fieldwork with a deep understanding of current Minimalist theory to present us with new data analysed in such a way that they provide real explanations for the phenomena of repetition. Nearly half a century ago I worked on the grammar of Nupe, little dreaming of the advances that could and would be made. Serious scholarship uses the tools of the present to build on the achievements of the past. It is a joy to be part of a tradition which has culminated in the present author providing new insights into the theory of grammar and the human faculty of language.”
“Almost half a century after Neil Smith¹s pioneering grammar of Nupe, Jason Kandybowicz¹s book strikes me as the most detailed, careful and refreshing description of this Niger Congo language. With regard to its theoretical import, the book offers a comprehensive typology of doubling phenomena. Contrary to most current generative work on doubling which assumes a Mophological analysis, this book convincingly shows that doublings have different origins: Morphology, Phonology/Prosody and Syntax. I can certainly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in empirical description and its consequences for theory building.”
“One of the most challenging issues facing minimalist syntax is to give a general account of the conditions under which multiple occurrences (created by internal Merge) of a single syntactic constituent are spelled out. Jason Kandybowicz adduces data from Nupe, a Benue-Congo language of Nigeria, to address this issue. In particular, Kandybowicz argues convincingly that syntactic, phonological, morphological and prosodic conditions can force more than one occurrence to be spelled out. Kandybowicz’s study is a paradigmatic example of how the careful analysis of a less studied language (from the point of view of English, Italian, Japanese, etc.) can have clear consequences for the theory of Universal Grammar.”
“The copy theory of movement has become one of the most solid pillars of the Minimalist Program as it made it possible to substantially simplify the GB apparatus to describe the architecture of the language faculty. Once traditional traces have been reanalyzed as unpronounced copies under the copy theory, a lively line of research has been devoted to investigating what determines the phonetic realization of copies. Kandybowicz’s insightful study on the pronunciation of multiple copies in Nupe offers illuminating answers to this important issue. By providing a detailed analysis of the syntactic, semantic, morphological, and phonological aspects of three different multiple copy constructions in Nupe, Kandybowicz is able to isolate properties that may enforce the realization of more than one copy. He shows that independent morphological requirements on affixes, phonological restrictions on unsupported tonal material, and restrictions on the mapping between syntactic and prosodic structures interact with general economy conditions, yielding constructions where two links of a given chain must be pronounced. Clearly written, empirically rich, and theoretically persuasive, this book constitutes a must-read contribution to the research on the copy theory and the mapping from syntax to PF.”
Cited by

Cited by 28 other publications

Bleaman, Isaac L.
2022. Predicate fronting in Yiddish and conditions on multiple copy Spell-Out. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 40:2  pp. 393 ff. DOI logo
Collins, Chris & Edward Stabler
2016. A Formalization of Minimalist Syntax. Syntax 19:1  pp. 43 ff. DOI logo
Daval-Markussen, Aymeric, Kristoffer Friis Bøegh & Peter Bakker
2017. Chapter 7. West African languages and creoles worldwide. In Creole Studies – Phylogenetic Approaches,  pp. 141 ff. DOI logo
Duguine, Maia
2022. FOFC as a PF phenomenon: Evidence from Basque clausal embedding. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 7:1 DOI logo
Déchaine, Rose‐Marie & Martina Wiltschko
2017. Bound Variable Anaphora. In The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Syntax, Second Edition,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Fominyam, Henry & Radek Šimík
2017. The morphosyntax of exhaustive focus. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 35:4  pp. 1027 ff. DOI logo
Güldemann, Tom
2016. Maximal backgrounding = focus without (necessary) focus encoding. Studies in Language 40:3  pp. 551 ff. DOI logo
Güldemann, Tom, Sabine Zerbian & Malte Zimmermann
2015. Variation in Information Structure with Special Reference to Africa. Annual Review of Linguistics 1:1  pp. 155 ff. DOI logo
Hein, Johannes
2021. Verb movement and the lack of verb-doubling VP-topicalization in Germanic. The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 24:1  pp. 89 ff. DOI logo
Kandybowicz, Jason
2009. Embracing edges: syntactic and phono-syntactic edge sensitivity in Nupe. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 27:2  pp. 305 ff. DOI logo
Kandybowicz, Jason
2015. On Prosodic Vacuity and Verbal Resumption in Asante Twi. Linguistic Inquiry 46:2  pp. 243 ff. DOI logo
Korsah, Sampson & Andrew Murphy
2020. Tonal reflexes of movement in Asante Twi. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 38:3  pp. 827 ff. DOI logo
Lai, Jackie Yan-Ki
2019. Parallel copying in dislocation copying: evidence from Cantonese. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 28:3  pp. 243 ff. DOI logo
Lee, Tommy Tsz-Ming
2021. Asymmetries in doubling and Cyclic Linearization. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 30:2  pp. 109 ff. DOI logo
Mendes, Gesoel & Jason Kandybowicz
2023. Salvation by Deletion in Nupe. Linguistic Inquiry 54:2  pp. 299 ff. DOI logo
Mendes, Gesoel & Rodrigo Ranero
2021. Chain Reduction via Substitution: Evidence from Mayan. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 6:1 DOI logo
Paul, Ileana & Eric Potsdam
2024. Malagasy framing demonstratives and the syntax of doubling. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 9:1 DOI logo
Petzell, Erik M.
2017. Head Conjuncts: Evidence from Old Swedish. Linguistic Inquiry 48:1  pp. 129 ff. DOI logo
Radford, Andrew
2020. An Introduction to English Sentence Structure, DOI logo
Scott, Tessa
2021. Two Types of Resumptive Pronouns in Swahili. Linguistic Inquiry 52:4  pp. 812 ff. DOI logo
Sikuku, Justine M., Michael Diercks & Michael R. Marlo
2018. Pragmatic effects of clitic doubling. Linguistic Variation 18:2  pp. 359 ff. DOI logo
Silva Garcés, José & Gonzalo Espinosa
2023. On the Nature of Verbal Non-Local Doubling in Patagonian Spanish. Languages 8:4  pp. 255 ff. DOI logo
Takahashi, Shoichi
2010. Traces or Copies, or Both – Part II: Introducing Further Considerations. Language and Linguistics Compass 4:11  pp. 1104 ff. DOI logo
Torrence, Harold
2013. A Promotion Analysis of Wolof Clefts. Syntax 16:2  pp. 176 ff. DOI logo
Villa-García, Julio
2019. Clitic climbing (or lack thereof) and the Copy Theory of Movement. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 4:1 DOI logo
Villa-García, Julio & Hugo Sánchez-Llana
2022. Chapter 2. Asturian and Asturian Spanish at the syntax-phonology interface. In Sound, Syntax and Contact in the Languages of Asturias [Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 36],  pp. 15 ff. DOI logo
H. Ekkehard Wolff
2019. The Cambridge Handbook of African Linguistics, DOI logo
Šimík, Radek
2020. Doubling unconditionals and relative sluicing. Natural Language Semantics 28:1  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 14 february 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CFK: Grammar, syntax

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2008034826 | Marc record