Elizabeth Jane Norcliffe F'08

Elizabeth Jane Norcliffe
Doctoral Candidate

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2008
Doctoral Candidate
Stanford University
Syntactic Variation in Cross-Linguistic Perspective: A View from Yucatec Maya

Detailed studies of syntactic variation have been restricted to a typologically narrow set of languages in this project. The empirical base of variation research is expanded by investigating a domain of syntactic variation both within Yucatec Maya, and from a typological perspective. Yucatec phenomenon (Agent Focus), previously analysed as a voice alternation, is shown to be a subtype of pronominal resumption. Comparison with cross-linguistic variation in pronominal resumption reveals the Mayan variation to exhibit similar distributional patterns. The functional determinants of these patterns are explored, together with their interaction with the structure of grammar.