LINGUIST List 10.1384

Tue Sep 21 1999

Sum: Russian Scrambling

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>


  1. Alex Terno, Russian Scrambling

Message 1: Russian Scrambling

Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 19:52:28 +0200
From: Alex Terno <>
Subject: Russian Scrambling

Hi, everybody!

Something like a week ago I posted a query concerning references on
scrambling in Russian. I'd like to thank all those who have
replied. The information I've got has given me some sence of
orientation in this vast but unfortunately not always specific field.

Here goes the summary. I hope it will solve somebody his/her time and

First of all� -- background:

Scrambling has been a fashionable topic for quite a while. A
definition of scrambling already poses a problem: "A process that
re-orders maximal projections internally within clauses moving them
further to the front of the clauses" [from A. Radford SYNTACTIC THEORY
this movement obligatory? Is it a violation of the last resort
principle? Is every movement that has such properties -- scrambling?
What kind of movement (A or A-bar) is involved? etc. etc. etc.
Various linguists has devoted their precious time and energy to find
answers on the above questions. They didn't lack empirical data as
well: there are a lot languages with relatively free word order,
i.e. possible candidates to scrambling languages. Among those one can
list German, Japanese, Hindi, Persian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian,
Polish, Finnish, Korean, Warlpiri, Selayarese and some other more or
less exotic languages. The status of Russian as a scrambling language
has been controversial. On one hand -- Russian presents various
seemingly optional permutations of the word order, on the other hand
however, it demonstrates strong similarity (in some cases) to
topicalization. The status of Russian "scrambling" in the minimalist
framework has been somewhat obscure.

The following list of sources is divided into two main issues:
SCRAMBLING itself and the analyses of RUSSIAN SCRAMBLING.

1. STUDIES ON SCRAMBLING, ed. N. Corver, H. van Riemsdijk, 1994 This
edition is a collection of GB studies on scrambling. The discussion
evolves about whether scrambling is an instance of move -a (if such --
A or A-bar movement) or it is base-generated. This volume is highly
recommended as a background and as a guidebook through the topic.

2. Boskovic & Takashi "Scrambling and Last Resort" (LI 29:3)1998
Explore Japanese scrambling as obligatory checking the strong
theta-features� in LF.

3.� Mahajan, Anoop. 1990. The A/A-bar distinction and� movement
theory.� Doctoral dissertation, MIT.

4.� Takano, Yuji. 1996. Movement and parametric variation in syntax.�
Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Irvine. [Takano also
has a recent� paper in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory that�
deals with �A-scrambling.]

5.� Frank, Robert, Young-Suk Lee, and Owen Rambow.� 1996.� Scrambling,
reconstruction and subject binding.� Rivista di Grammatica Generativa
21: 67-106.

6.� Miyagawa, Shigeru. 1997. Against optional scrambling. Linguistic
Inquiry 28: 1-25.

7.� Ueyama, Ayumi. 1998. Two types of dependency.� Doctoral
dissertation, University of Southern California.

8.� McGinnis, Martha. 1998. Locality in A-movement. Doctoral
dissertation, MIT.

and a couple of brief papers that summarize the section on scrambling
in my thesis, which will be available �from Penn Working Papers in
Linguistics (proceedings of this year's Penn Linguistics Colloquium:
� and Cascadilla� Press
(proceedings of this year's

�The works above (3-8) discuss scrambling in Hindi,
�Japanese, Georgian, Korean,
�German, and Albanian (A-bar only)
9. M?ller, Gereon. 1995. A-bar� Syntax. Berlin: Mouton de� Gruyter.
extensive discussion (and references)

10. Joan Bresnan's Morphology Competes with Syntax For some treatment
(OT/LFG-ish), a little bit of data and useful references

������ SYNTAX, Barbosa, Pilar, Fox, Danny, Hagstrom, Paul, McGinnis,
������ Martha, & Pesetsky, David [Eds], Cambridge: Massachusetts Instit
������ Technology Press

12. A whole issue� of Cahiers linguistiques d'Ottawa devoted to
scrambling in discourse configurational� languages and A/A' movement.�
(Cahiers linguistiques� d'Ottawa.� Vol. 22� (October� 1994)).

13.� Saito, Mamoru.� Scrambling as semantically vacuous A'-movement.�
In: Alternative conceptions of phrase structure.

14.� Safir, Ken.� 1998.� Vehicle Change and� Reconstruction in
A'-Chains.� MS (Tim Beasley :"based� on Fiengo & May's 1994 proposal
of vehicle change in� their� LI monograph, but� which seems to lead to
an almost-anything-goes �system in which anything should� be able to
undergo vehicle change, contrary to what� we observe")

Grewendorf,-Gunther-[Ed]; Sternefeld,-Wolfgang-[Ed]

16. Gisbert Fanselow, Features, ?-roles, and Free Constituent Order
(Submitted to LI and kindely attached to the reply)

1. The thesis of Dr. Joel M. Hoffman" <> "Syntactic and
Paratactic Word Order� Effects,"
Univeristy of Maryland at College Park 1995

2. N. Strahov, MA thesis, Tel-Aviv University, Israel 1998.
An interesting study confining Russian scrambling to obligatory
Topicalization/Focalization movements checking strong
Topic/Focus features respectively.

3. King T. (1995) Configuring Topic and Focus in Russian, Stanford: CSLI

4. Muller&Sternefeld (1993) Improper Movement and Unabiguous Binding, LI

5. Blond V. (1996) Multiple questions in Russian. MA thesis Bar-Ilan
University, Tel-Aviv

6. Bailyn,-John-Frederick , A Configurational Approach to Russian "Free"
Word Order
Social-Sciences; 1996, 56, 7, Jan, 2657-A.

7.�� The Syntax and Processing of Scrambling Constructions in Russian
Sekerina,-Irina-A.� Dissertation-Abstracts-International,-A; 1998, 58,
9, Mar, 3500-A.
8. Sekerina,-Irina, Split Scrambling in Russian and Focus: Syntax and
Processing� MIT-Working-Papers-in-Linguistics; 1997, 31, 377-392.

A list of 339 refernces is available by emailing Alex Terno at
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