Organizing Grammar

Studies in Generative Grammar [SGG]

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Henk van Riemsdijk has long been known as one of Europe’s most important linguists. His seminal ideas have been influential in developing generative grammar in Europe and beyond. As the initiator, co-founder, and chair of the GLOW society, he made the society the leading platform of European generative linguistics. He has also been editor of the series Studies in Generative Grammar since its foundation. As a teacher and supervisor, he has inspired generations of students. On the occasion of his relocation from the Netherlands to Italy, his friends, students and colleagues celebrate his work with this collection of essays on numerous topics of current theoretical interest.

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About the author

Hans Broekhuis, University of Tilburg, The Netherlands; Norbert Corver, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands; Riny Huybregts, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands; Ursula Kleinhenz,Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, Germany; Jan Koster, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Walter de Gruyter
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Published on
Dec 22, 2011
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Pages
737
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ISBN
9783110892994
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Authorship
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / Historical & Comparative
Language Arts & Disciplines / Literacy
Philosophy / Language
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This content is DRM protected.
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Clause Structure and Adjuncts in Austronesian Languages is a collection of papers devoted to the syntactic analysis of modification and extraction strategies in Austronesian languages such as Kavalan, Malagasy, Niuean, Seediq, and Tagalog. Written by some of the leading scholars in the field, itelucidates the categorial and phrase structural status as well as the scopal behavior of sentence-level adverbs, ordering constraints on adjectival modifiers, and the nature of unbounded dependencies in interaction with Philippine-type voice systems. Guglielmo Cinque's universal ordering hypothesis for adverbs and current work on remnant movement serve as theoretical points of reference.

More particularly the book contains an analysis of lower VP-adverbs in Kavalan as serial verbs (Chang), a defense of two types of adverbial heads in Seediq (Holmer), an account of possible DP-internal serializations in Niuean in terms of remnant movement (Kahnemuyipour Massam), a plea for relative, scope-based adverb ordering in Tagalog (Kaufman), a clefting approach to unbounded dependencies in Malagasy (Potsdam), a critical assessment of constraints on remnant movement as applied to adverb orderings in Malagasy (Thiersch), and an analysis of the Malagasy voice system on the basis of clitic left-dislocation (Travis). The editors' introduction undertakes a critical survey of the relevant empirical and theoretical background.

A substantial part of the empirical facts are presented here for the first time, and the book will inspire additional systematic investigation of the often neglected aspects of modificational strategies in Austronesian languages.

The book will be of value to linguists interested in contemporary syntactic analysis and to everyone seeking a deeper understanding of the formal properties of Austronesian.

Human language is a phenomenon of immense richness: It provides finely nuanced means of expression that underlie the formation of culture and society; it is subject to subtle, unexpected constraints like syntactic islands and cross-over phenomena; different mutually-unintelligeable individual languages are numerous; and the descriptions of individual languages occupy thousands of pages. Recent work in linguistics, however, has tried to argue that despite all appearances to the contrary, the human biological capacity for language may be reducible to a small inventory of core cognitive competencies. The most radical version of this view has emerged from the Minimalist Program: The claim that language consists of only the ability to generate recursive structures by a computational mechanism. On this view, all other properties of language must result from the interaction at the interfaces of that mechanism and other mental systems not exclusively devoted to language. Since language could then be described as the simplest recursive system satisfying the requirements of the interfaces, one can speak of the Minimalist Equation: Interfaces + Recursion = Language.

The question whether all the richness of language can be reduced to that minimalist equation has already inspired several fruitful lines of research that led to important new results. While a full assessment of the minimalist equation will require evidence from many different areas of inquiry, this volume focuses especially on the perspective of syntax and semantics. Within the minimalist architecture, this places our concern with the core computational mechanism and the (LF-)interface where recursive structures are fed to interpretation. Specific questions that the papers address are: What kind of recursive structures can the core generator form? How can we determine what the simplest recursive system is? How can properties of language that used to be ascribed to the recursive generator be reduced to interface properties? What effects do syntactic operations have on semantic interpretation? To what extent do models of semantic interpretation support the LF-interface conditions postulated by minimalist syntax?

Tense/Mood/Aspect-agreeing Infinitivals is an in-depth investigation of the syntax of verb-verb agreement phenomena in Swedish, including pseudocoordinations of the form John started and wrote 'John started writing' and double participles of the form John had been-able written 'John had been able to write'. Providing evidence from facts concerning extraction, locality, selection, and interpretation, the book argues that the relevant construction types all involve surface variants of "infinitives in disguise"; infinitivals that agree with the matrix clause in tense/mood/aspect. Arguments are presented in favour of taking the dependencies underlying the agreement to be instances of Agree between functional heads of the same label, a configuration that yields restructuring/clause-union. The main theoretical contributions of the book are two:
(i) Agreement is proportional to functional structure:
The possibility of "copying" a particular morphosyntactic form is contingent on the presence of the corresponding functional projection in the agreeing XP.
(ii) Size constancy between restructuring/non-restructuring infinitivals:
The category selected by a verb may remain constant between restructuring and non-restructuring configurations.

It is suggested that an important aspect of restructuring may be alternation between unmarked (negatively specified) features and unvalued varieties of the same features, capturing properties such as "tenselessness", "finitelessness", etc. of restructuring infinitivals. The book is an important contribution to the syntax of infinitival clauses, the syntax of clause-union/restructuring, and more generally to the syntax of agreement phenomena in natural language. In addition, it provides a general reference source for anyone interested in the syntax of Swedish and other Scandinavian languages.

Clause Structure and Adjuncts in Austronesian Languages is a collection of papers devoted to the syntactic analysis of modification and extraction strategies in Austronesian languages such as Kavalan, Malagasy, Niuean, Seediq, and Tagalog. Written by some of the leading scholars in the field, itelucidates the categorial and phrase structural status as well as the scopal behavior of sentence-level adverbs, ordering constraints on adjectival modifiers, and the nature of unbounded dependencies in interaction with Philippine-type voice systems. Guglielmo Cinque's universal ordering hypothesis for adverbs and current work on remnant movement serve as theoretical points of reference.

More particularly the book contains an analysis of lower VP-adverbs in Kavalan as serial verbs (Chang), a defense of two types of adverbial heads in Seediq (Holmer), an account of possible DP-internal serializations in Niuean in terms of remnant movement (Kahnemuyipour Massam), a plea for relative, scope-based adverb ordering in Tagalog (Kaufman), a clefting approach to unbounded dependencies in Malagasy (Potsdam), a critical assessment of constraints on remnant movement as applied to adverb orderings in Malagasy (Thiersch), and an analysis of the Malagasy voice system on the basis of clitic left-dislocation (Travis). The editors' introduction undertakes a critical survey of the relevant empirical and theoretical background.

A substantial part of the empirical facts are presented here for the first time, and the book will inspire additional systematic investigation of the often neglected aspects of modificational strategies in Austronesian languages.

The book will be of value to linguists interested in contemporary syntactic analysis and to everyone seeking a deeper understanding of the formal properties of Austronesian.

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Human language is a phenomenon of immense richness: It provides finely nuanced means of expression that underlie the formation of culture and society; it is subject to subtle, unexpected constraints like syntactic islands and cross-over phenomena; different mutually-unintelligeable individual languages are numerous; and the descriptions of individual languages occupy thousands of pages. Recent work in linguistics, however, has tried to argue that despite all appearances to the contrary, the human biological capacity for language may be reducible to a small inventory of core cognitive competencies. The most radical version of this view has emerged from the Minimalist Program: The claim that language consists of only the ability to generate recursive structures by a computational mechanism. On this view, all other properties of language must result from the interaction at the interfaces of that mechanism and other mental systems not exclusively devoted to language. Since language could then be described as the simplest recursive system satisfying the requirements of the interfaces, one can speak of the Minimalist Equation: Interfaces + Recursion = Language.

The question whether all the richness of language can be reduced to that minimalist equation has already inspired several fruitful lines of research that led to important new results. While a full assessment of the minimalist equation will require evidence from many different areas of inquiry, this volume focuses especially on the perspective of syntax and semantics. Within the minimalist architecture, this places our concern with the core computational mechanism and the (LF-)interface where recursive structures are fed to interpretation. Specific questions that the papers address are: What kind of recursive structures can the core generator form? How can we determine what the simplest recursive system is? How can properties of language that used to be ascribed to the recursive generator be reduced to interface properties? What effects do syntactic operations have on semantic interpretation? To what extent do models of semantic interpretation support the LF-interface conditions postulated by minimalist syntax?

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