The Universality of Morpho-Syntax: Synthetic Compounding in French，English，Dutch and Korean
Published Online: Jan 01, 2017
This paper argues that synthetic compounding SC accesses phrasal syntax. The split-Inflectional Phrase (Split-IP) supplied by Universal Grammar provides a parsimonious representation of SC in French， English， Dutch and Korean. In SC， nouns and verbs are attracted leftward up the tree to check and eliminate strong nominal or verbal features located in higher functional projections. Split-Infl and leftward-only Move α provide a minimal and learnable frame- work for SC word formation. Kayne’s Universal Base Hypothesis (1994) imposes a rigid syntactic theory (section 2). Data from French， English， Dutch and Korean exemplify SC in (3). A literature review in (4) evaluates recent work on SC found in Lieber (1992)， Barbaud (1994) and Di Sciullo (1996). In (5)， a minimalist syntactic solution provides a unified analysis of the data set. Finally， an X-bar theory of categorical conversion and affixation in (6) argues in favor of a post-syntactic， morphological module that precedes PF in word formation. The conclusion suggests how generative morpho-syntactic theory might be applied to the development of a universal artificial language.