Date of Thesis

5-8-2014

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

James Lavine

Abstract

In this paper, I will provide a detailed analysis of the EPP, a principle of theoretical syntax, in Modern Irish. I will document previous scholarship on this issue to give a comprehensive view of ways of reconciling the syntax with the language data, as language data is key to testing theoretical predictions. I will also provide my own model incorporating the EPP into Irish. First, I will provide necessary information about the background and development of the EPP and the Minimalist system in syntax, as well as a discussion of the Irish language and the features which make it relevant to the study of the EPP. Then, I will present the models of Irish and the considerations of the EPP which have shaped and influenced my own. These models include both instances of altering the definition of the EPP to increase its universal application and of adapting models of VSO languages to fit the prevailing definition of the EPP. Lastly, I will detail my own model for Irish sentence structure, which suggests an alternate subject position in the syntax which would allow for the EPP to adapt to fit VSO word order. An analysis of passive and the unaccusative constructions, as well as support from contemporary syntactic theory, will support this model. To complete my consideration of Irish and the EPP, I will also provide a discussion of whether of not pleonastic pronouns function in Irish and how they would be accounted for in my model.

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