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CANCELLED – Linguistics Colloquia: Karlos Arregi

April 5 @ 1:20 pm - 3:00 pm  |  Humanities 1, Room 210


The Department of Linguistics is pleased to present:

Karlos Arregi
University of Chicago

speaking on
The relation between head movement and periphrasis


In joint work with Asia Pietraszko, I’ve been investigating the relation between head movement and the synthesis-periphrasis distinction in the verbal domain. We use the term “synthesis” to refer to verbal expressions in which the lexical verb bears all the verbal inflection in a clause (e.g. “rode” in English). In contrast, a periphrastic verbal expression additionally contains an auxiliary verb (specifically, “be” or “have”), and verbal inflection is distributed between the lexical verb and the auxiliary (e.g. “had ridden”).

We argue for two crosslinguistic generalizations: T-V Optionality and *V-Aux. According to T-V Optionality, languages vary as to whether T is in a head-movement relation with a verb. *V-Aux states that in periphrasis, the lexical verb and the auxiliary cannot be related by head movement. Existing analyses of periphrasis can account for one or the other generalization, but not for both.

We further argue that this tension between the two generalizations is resolved if we adopt the hypothesis that both head movement and periphrasis are tied to selection. More specifically, we propose that head movement is parasitic on a selectional relation (following Svenonius 1994, Julien 2002, Matushansky 2006, and Preminger 2019) and that auxiliaries are merged as specifiers selected by functional heads such as T (Pietraszko 2017).


Join us for this in-person talk on Friday, April 5th at 1:20 pm. We look forward to seeing you there!

For accessibility issues, please contact Sarah Amador (


April 5
1:20 pm - 3:00 pm


Humanities 1, Room 210
1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States
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