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Head Movement in Moro DPs: Evidence for a Unified Theory of Movement
Peter Jenks
248-257 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


In Moro, a Kordofanian language spoken in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, noun phrases are characterized by the order noun-demonstrative-numeral-adjective, but nouns also precede prepositions and can strand all of these modifiers in, e.g., passive constructions. This paper presents arguments that noun movement in Moro is head movement, N-to-D within DP, proposed for Kiswahili by Carstens (1991), and then head movement of the noun around the preposition, and finally long head movement to subject position (cf. Lema & Rivero, 1990). I present several arguments for head movement, the simplest of which is that no syntactic material besides the noun can occur in this initial position. However, the latter two instances of movement clearly violate the Head Movement Constraint (Travis, 1984). I argue that the way through this paradox is to adopt a theory of head movement as movement to a specifier position (Matushansky, 2006). The general tendency for languages to obey the Head Movement Constraint can be derived independently from Matushansky's Transparence Condition and the general correlation between head movement and morphological fusion, factors which do not constrain the Moro pattern above.

Published in

Proceedings of the 31st West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Robert E. Santana-LaBarge
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00