LINGUIST List 13.940

Fri Apr 5 2002

Diss: Syntax: White "An Inquiry into Minimalist..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. jwh, Syntax: White "An Inquiry into Minimalist Phrase Structure"

Message 1: Syntax: White "An Inquiry into Minimalist Phrase Structure"

Date: Fri, 05 Apr 2002 02:51:11 +0000
From: jwh <>
Subject: Syntax: White "An Inquiry into Minimalist Phrase Structure"

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University College London
Program: Department of Phonetics and Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1999

Author: Jonathan White 

Dissertation Title: 
An Inquiry into Minimalist Phrase Structure

Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: English

Dissertation Director 1: Hans van de Koot

Dissertation Abstract: 

This thesis takes as its starting point the proposal in Kayne (1994)
that all syntactic structures are underlyingly spec-head-complement,
and that they are right-branching. I will investigate this proposal
taking data from English degree constructions, namely result clauses
and comparatives. A comparison will be made between these
constructions and English VPs, on which the majority of the phrase
structure debate in the literature has been based. The evidence for
left-branching and for right-branching in VPs will be considered, and
similar evidence sought for degree constructions. We will see that VPs
have a mostly right-branching structure, although left-branching
structures are required in restricted circumstances. Also reason and
manner adjuncts are argued to be right-adjoined to the VP node, a
conclusion that is re-inforced by considering the constituency of VP
adjuncts and some PP sequences noted by Jackendoff (1973). In degree
constructions too, we argue that both left-branching and
right-branching structures are necessary. My conclusion will be that
Kayne's proposal is too strong, even though it is ideal from the
perspective of a minimalist approach to syntax.
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