LINGUIST List 13.2835

Mon Nov 4 2002

Review: Syntax: Ogawa (2001)

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  1. Michael Moss, Ogawa (2001) A Unified Theory of Verbal and Nominal Projections

Message 1: Ogawa (2001) A Unified Theory of Verbal and Nominal Projections

Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002 16:11:39 +0200
From: Michael Moss <>
Subject: Ogawa (2001) A Unified Theory of Verbal and Nominal Projections

Ogawa, Yoshiki (2001) A Unified Theory of Verbal and Nominal Projections.
Oxford University Press, 323pp, paperback ISBN 0-19-514388-4, $35.00,
Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax

Michael Moss, Ph.D., University of Gdansk, Department of General and
Celtic Linguistics

[This book has not yet been announced on LINGUIST, despite repeated
requests. After waiting more than two months, we have decided to post
the review, in fairness to both the reviewer and the list's readership.
- Eds.]

The book attempts to consolidate NPs and clauses into parallel
structures. Such an objective is beneficial to linguistic theory for
several reasons: one structure is better than several; it allows us to
integrate derived nominals into a clearer structure; it sheds light on
the nature of C and null C. However, the solutions proposed to these
problems are usually surrounded by controversy. In 1960, Lees proposed
a transformational model for nominalizations, which was cast aside in
the 70's. Chomsky's proposal to move morphology out of the syntax was
also very controversial and is still contested today. Complementizers
have also received many different analyses and have been central to
syntactic studies since the late 60's. This book is no exception. The
solutions proposed to unify NP and S structures are controversial.
However, the evidence backing up the proposals is strong and quite
convincing. It is an extensive book, which certainly adds to our
understanding of NP and S structures.

The book is divided into five chapters: an introduction, a discussion
of clause structure, a discussion of derived nominals, the introduction
of Komplementizer and a brief conclusion. In these chapters, Ogawa
first introduces the problem and gives an outline of the program
presented in the remaining chapters. Chapter 2 presents the hypothesis
that all finite clauses are CPs that all null Cs are affixes, and that
only Control complements are IPs. In chapter 3, investigates the
structure of derived nominal complements, and proposes that derived
nominals are, in fact, Vs that have moved to a NzP position, which is
equivalent to a vP, to receive a nominalization affix. In chapter 4,
proposes that all NPs are dominated by a Komplementizer Phrase
functional projection, which gives Nominal and Clausal phrases parallel
lexical and functional projections. Finally chapter 5 summarizes the
argumentation presented in the book and points out some further
direction of research.

It seems that in a work like this, there are two main things to assess.
There is the theoretical material being presented and there is also the
method in which the information is presented. That is to say, a book
can present new and controversial ideas, but such ideas must be
accompanied by data to back them up to allow the reader to assess their
strength. Ogawa's book does both very successfully. He presents ideas
that are new and interesting and a wide range of evidence to back up
his theses. Examples are drawn from a many different languages and
language groups, and each topic is covered in great detail. The ideas
are presented clearly and logically. The structural changes proposed
have fundamental implications for linguistic structure and Ogawa gives
them the support that they deserve.

First it is necessary to address the question of Complementizers. Ogawa
proposes that all finite clauses as well as ECM and raising structures
are CPs. This is quite different from the traditional Government and
Binding (GB) approach, which divided clausal complements into CP IP and
Small Clause structures. In order to make this system work, Ogawa
introduces one main modification to the standard theory. He proposes
that all null Cs are affixal. In so doing, Ogawa is able to reduce the
restrictions on the occurrence of null C in finite nonfactive
complements to the following condition on inflectional affixes:

(1) *[[X + Y] + Z], where X is any element, Y is an inflectional affix,
whether overt or null, and Z is a derivational affix (Ogawa 2001:22).

This proposal is backed up by extensive linguistic evidence from many
different languages and language groups, which gives it credence from
both the intra- and cross-linguistic point of view. There is one
remaining question: Why do control complements have a different
structure? Ogawa proposes that the answer may lie in the difference
between 'propositions' and 'events', where 'propositions' are
canonically realized as CP and 'events' as IP. However, he leaves this
possibility to further research.

The next problem to be overcome is that of nominalizations. Ogawa
chooses to create a functional projection called the Nominalization
Phrase (NzP), which occupies the same place in a verbal projection as
vP, but has a different function. NzP accounts for the syntactic
nominalization of verbs. Where T will select a vP complement in clausal
projections, D will select a NzP complement in most derived nominal
constructions. Like null complementizers, Nzs are also understood to be
affixal. This conveniently aids in the distinction between verbal and
nominal gerunds, where verbal gerunds are DPs with vP complements, and
nominal gerunds are DPs with NzP complements. While this chapter is
centrally about derived nominals, the following generalizations can be

(2) If a CP cannot be headed by the null C, either (a) or (b) or (c)
a. The verb that selects it is overtly raised to a higher functional
head that is a derivational suffix (v or Nz).
b. The CP is in a noncomplement position either in overt syntax or at
LF (e.g., topicalized CPs, CP complements to factive verbs, and CPs in
apposition to nominals).
c. The CP is underlyingly in an adjoined position (e.g., CPs associated
with manner-of-speaking verbs and extraposed relative clauses) (Ogawa

This hypothesis is also very well supported with evidence from a
variety of languages.

Finally, Ogawa argues that nominal projections have a functional
projection called the Komplementizer Phrase, which corresponds to the
clausal Complementizer. Furthermore, null Komplementizers are argued to
be affixal as are their corresponding null complementizers. The
argument is based on evidence Hungarian concerning NP-internal
wh-movement in Hungarian, pronominal shift in a variety of languages,
and Case particle positioning in languages that possess them. The
argumentation is convincing and thorough.

In general, the book is well researched and argued. The technology used
is innovative and insightful leading us to more compact and unified
structures for linguistic description. I would recommend this book to
people interested in Generative Grammar and in particular to those
interested in the structural relations proposed in that school.

Lees R. B. 1960. The Grammar of English Nominalizations. Mouton.

I am an Adjunct Professor at the University of Gdansk. I am interested
in domains and structural relations in Generative Grammar.
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