LINGUIST List 14.2341

Fri Sep 5 2003

Review: Morphology/Syntax: Barss (2002)

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  1. Miguel Rodriguez-Mondonedo, Anaphora: A Reference Guide

Message 1: Anaphora: A Reference Guide

Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2003 14:06:52 +0000
From: Miguel Rodriguez-Mondonedo <Miguel.Rodriguez-MondonedoHUSKYMAIL.UCONN.EDU>
Subject: Anaphora: A Reference Guide

Barss, Andrew, ed. (2002) Anaphora: A Reference Guide. Blackwell ISBN:
0631211179, Pages: 320, Price: $71.95

Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/14/14-899.html
 http://linguistlist.org/issues/13/13-1454.html


Miguel Rodr�guez-Mondo�edo, Department of Linguistics, University of
Connecticut

This book presents the cutting edge of anaphoric relations' studies,
showing its syntactic and semantic properties, and also pointing out
philosophical, psycholinguistic, and cognitive implications of our
comprehension of anaphors. Eight outstanding articles not only draw a
remarkable big picture of the issue, but also drive the reader deeply
inside its most intriguing details.

First I will summarize each article, and then I will make some brief
comments about each one of them.

The first one is ''Timing Puzzles in Anaphora and Interpretation,'' by
Andrew Barss. He develops a model of the syntactic-semantics mapping
without Logical Form (LF) as level of representation, according to
which the semantic representation of a sentence is built up in
parallel with the syntactic derivation, under the assumption that
anaphoric dependences are formal constructs (akin chains) formed in
the course of a derivation. Two principles rule this process:

(i) Earliness of Semantic Interpretation: Compute the semantic
interpretation of elements of a phrase marker as early as possible in
a derivation (a version of Pesetsky's (1989) Earliness Principle)

(ii) An anaphoric dependency D (A, B) cannot be formed (or filtered)
until both A and B are morphologically licensed.

In this case, ''as early as possible'' means as soon all the
ingredients of the dependency are merged in the tree, and
''morphologically licensed'' includes lexical projection and feature
checking. The author tests the empirical power of this model
explaining anaphoric reconstructions effects related with weak
crossover, adverbial scope, events and negation scope, and antecedent-
contained deletion; and also deriving strict cyclicity for
wh-movement.

''Two Types of Scrambling Constructions in Japanese,'' by Ayumi
Ueyama, analyzes Object-Subject-type (OS-type) constructions in
Japanese, which are considered cases of scrambling (as opposed to
unmarked SO constructions) in this language. Two kinds of OS-type
constructions are distinguished in the literature: Deep and
Surface. Deep OS-type does not show Weak Crossover (WCO), and its
Object shows wide-scope reading over its Subject; whereas Surface
OS-type preserves WCO, and its Object shows narrow-scope reading over
its Subject, in addition to exhibit reconstruction effects. The author
adds to this characterization that long distance OS-type is
necessarily a Surface type, and that in multiple OS constructions at
least one instance is a Surface type (preferable, the second
one). According to Ueyama, these last observations pose a serious
challenge to Saito 1992 (among others), who assumes that a Deep
OS-type is available only if the A-chain reanalysis is possible, and
that the Deep OS-type undergoes movement. The author shows that Deep
OS-type is base-generated, with an empty operator (Op) movement,
whereas Surface OS-type involves a PF (Phonetic Form) movement of O:
[''-k'' is my index]

(i) Deep OS-type: O [Op-k [S t-k]
(ii) Surface OS-type: O-k S t-k

Since OS constructions show Subjacency effects, Ueyama assumes that PF
is relevant for Subjacency.

''The Psycholinguistics of Anaphora,'' by Janet Nicol and David
Swinney, present the results of several experiments testing the
processing of coreference during the comprehension. The general idea
is that the appearance of an anaphoric element (a proform) triggers
the search for antecedent and its selection among previously mentioned
Nominal Phrases (the candidate set). Research questions include
constrains over the candidate set, the selection process and the
timing of pronoun resolution. The experiments show different results
regarding this last issue: according to ones, the resolution begins
immediately after a proform is presented; according to others, this
happens during the subsequent words. The authors explain this
discrepancy remarking that the experiments used different methods and
materials; for instance, pronouns in different syntactic positions
(subject/object, argument/adjunct), or different channels
(auditory/visual). Their conclusion is that with auditory data the
proform triggers the search immediately; the candidate set is
constrained by Binding Conditions (Chomsky 1981) and for
morphological, semantic and pragmatic conditions (such as agreement,
topic or knowledge about the world); that means that not all NPs are
initially considered as candidates. However, this is not so clear in
the case of visual presentation, which seems to make coreference more
difficult to compute.

''Two Pronominal Mysteries in the Acquisition of Binding and
Control,'' by Dana McDaniel, analyzes children's failure to comply
with Principle B (''PB lag''), and children's use of internal
reference for pronouns, as if they were non-arbitrary PRO (Although
previous studies consistently report PB lag, they do find some
children that obey Principle B; in addition, children comply the
condition when the antecedent is a quantifier (''Every girl is patting
her''), and when they use spontaneous speech; and children who speak
language with clitics (Italian or Spanish) obey Principle B. These
facts are not well explained by other accounts for the
phenomenon. McDaniel's solution is that children do not have
sensitivity to emphatic stress; therefore ''Groves is patting him (non
emphatic)'' can be interpreted as ''Grover is patting HIM
(emphatic)''. Since contra-indexed Nominal Phrases can be
coreferential when the pronoun is emphatic, children could interpret
any NP as coreferential before mastering emphatic stress. The second
topic is the Pronoun Coreference Requirement (PCR), according to which
the pronoun in ''Grover kisses Big Bird before he jumps over the
fence'' is interpreted in the same manner to PRO in ''Grover kisses
Big Bird before PRO jumping over the fence''. No conclusive solution
is provided, however McDaniel links the PCR to switch reference
systems, suggesting that these could contain a grammaticized form of
PCR.

''Reference Transfers and the Giorgione Problem,'' by Mario
Montalbetti, address a problem that can be traced back to the twelfth
century and whose modern form was expressed by Quine (1953) in
sentences like (i-ii):

(1) Giorgione was so-called because of his size
(2) Barbarelli was so-called because of his size

Assuming that (1) is true, and knowing that Giorgione=Barbarelli, (2)
is false, and (1) means (3):

(3) Giorgione-k was called Giorgione because of his-k size

The problem is not only the failure of substitutivity in (1-2). In
(1), whereas ''so'' refers to the name, ''his'' refers to the
individual; furthermore, ''Giorgione'' refers to the individual. Then,
we have an unusual situation: an anaphoric expression refers to
something different than its antecedent. It is not possible to exclude
Syntax from this problem (leaving Pragmatics alone), because it
interacts with syntactic phenomena, for instance, only the
sloppy-identity reading of (4) produces a failure of substitutivity:

(4) Giorgione was so-called because of his size and Barbarelli was too

Montalbetti's solution is that the predicate ''called'' coerces a
shifted antecedent (''coercion'' is a notion from Pustejovsky 1995),
from the individual to his name, that is picked up by the anaphoric
element ''so''; ''his'' (a pronoun) is free to refer back to the
unshifted antecedent. He suggests that his solution can be applied to
other similar cases of reference transfer.

''Tense and Anaphora: Is There a Tense-Specific Theory of
Coreference?,'' by Karen Zagona, argues against a tense-specific
theory of tense licensing---like Tense Anchoring (En� 1997)---in
favor of the Temporal Argument Structure hypothesis (TAS), according
to which Tense Phrase (TP) is a transitive predicate with the
Speech-Time (ST) as external argument and the Event-Time (ET) as
internal argument (identified with the Verbal Phrase (VP) ). The
visibility of ST and ET is ensured by a mood feature [+Indicative] and
a [+/- Past] feature, respectively. These are Case-like features,
purely formal; therefore we cannot derive temporal interpretations
from them. Zagona proposes to derive temporal orders from the
position of the arguments, considering the higher as more
recent. Future tenses seem an objection because ET (the lower
argument) is more recent than ST; therefore, in future tenses, ET must
raise to a higher Phrase (maybe a Modal Phrase, headed by
''will''). Traditionally, Present tense is analyzed as the
simultaneity of ET and ST, which also contradicts Zagona's view; she
proposes that in present-moment interpretations ST (an specific time)
is included in the times provided by VP (with ''mass''
interpretation); in this view, TP is ''the set of times such that VP''
(p. 154). According to Zagona, temporal dependencies between clauses
cannot be understood as dependencies between tenses, since they hold
even if there is not a c-commanding tense (as in clausal complements
of nouns). Temporal dependences are the result of interactions between
argumental structure, aspect and sub-event structure.

''Surface and Deep Anaphora, Sloppy Identity, and Experiments in
Syntax,'' by Hajime Hoji, presents a revision of a classic problem
posed by Hankamer and Sag (1976), in relation with sloppy/strict
identity readings. A surface anaphora (SA, 5b) needs a linguistics
antecedent, while deep anaphora (DA, 5c) can be licensed
pragmatically:

(5)
a. You will be able to stuff this ball through this hoop
b. You will be able to [VP ] : SA- VP Ellipsis (VPE)
c. You will be able to [VP do it] : DA

As noted by Dalrymple (1991), both SA and DA can lead to sloppy/strict
identity ambiguity (SSIA), which modified the standard assumption that
only SA can do that:

(6)
a. John washed his car on that rainy day.
b. Bill did THE SAME THING. [DA]

(6b) can mean (i) Bill washed John's car on that rainy day (strict) or
(ii) Bill washed his own car on that rainy day (sloppy). Dalrymple
thinks that this fact challenges the idea that we can explain SSIA
using the difference between their syntactic representations. However,
following Lasnik 1976 and Reinhart 1983, Hoji notes that the sloppy
identity in SA has the same constrains than bound variable anaphora
(BVA); BVA (and therefore, sloppy SA) requires what Hoji calls Formal
Dependency (FD). We have FD (A, B) if (i) B is [+beta] (in terms of
Fiengo and May 1994), (ii) A c-commands B, and (iii) A is not in the
local domain of B. No coindexation is required. Hoji presents a set of
tests in English and Japanese where he modifies the requirements for
FD and finds that this causes the loss of sloppy identity reading in
SA but not in DA. The conclusion is that DA does not need a FD for its
sloppy reading. In other words, (5b) has the same LF representation
than (5a), but (5c) has not. Sloppy readings in SA have a syntactic
explanation.

''The logic of Reflexivity and Reciprocity,'' by Terence Langendoen
and J�el Magloire, presents an account for the logical properties of
reflexive (REF) and reciprocal (REC) sentences. REC/REF's properties
result from (i) the interaction between plural properties of
predicates (Goodman 1951); (ii) the core meaning of REC/REF; and (iii)
the way REC/REF is expressed: overtly (with anaphora, as in (7)) or
covertly (without anaphora, as in (8)). In (7) the predicate has two
places, whereas in (8) it has only one place (the REF/REC property is
incorporated into the predicate).

(7)
a. Ana and Bob are in love with themselves [REF/REC]
b. Ana and Bob are looking at each other [REC]

(8)
a. Ana and Bob are shaving [REF]
b. Ana and Bob disagree [REC]

Langendoen and Magloire explore all the plural properties of REC/REF
in one- place and two-places predicates, extending Goodman (1951)'s
original insight. They also deal with reciproreflexive two-place
predicates, where REC/REF distinction is neutralized, as in Spanish
sentences with ''se'' (9); and cases of hyporecyprocality (Fiengo and
Lasnik 1973), that exhibit a logical or pragmatic asymmetry (10)

(9) Ana y Pepe se quieren [Ana and Pepe like themselves/each other]

(10) The plates are stacked on the top of each other

Langendoen and Magloire establish the entailments among REC/REF
sentences, and propose a criterion for reflexivity and for reciprocity
(the ''core'' meaning of REC/REF).

COMMENTS

As a whole, an outstanding property of this book is that it shows how
deeply the study of anaphoric relations is connected with almost every
subfield of Linguistics. They are relevant not only for Syntax,
Semantics or Pragmatics, but also for Language Acquisition,
Intonation, and Cognitive Sciences. Additionally, it evidences the
extraordinary vitality of the issue inside Generative Grammar. Also,
each article is outstanding by its own. I will comment very briefly
each one of them.

Barss' article presents a convincing way to do Syntax and Semantics at
the same time. This allows the system to get rid of indexes (following
Chomsky 1995's advice). In addition to empirical success, he is able
to enforce cyclicity for wh-movement (what makes the system very
appealing). It is not clear, however, until which extent his Earliness
of Semantic Interpretation creates different levels of
representation. If it does, it will be no different than an old
condition on Deep or Surface Structure. Although he tries to avoid
that possibility by comparing his system with chain formation, the
issue remains unclear.

Ueyama's article about Scrambling sets the stage for further inquiry
on this intriguing phenomenon of Japanese (and other languages). It
also fuels the discussion about A/A-bar dependencies, and presents a
rigorous method to use anaphoric dependencies to uncover syntactic
structures.

Nicol & Swinney look anaphora from the point of view of the hearer,
and their findings confirm the complex nature of coreference, which is
sensitive even to the material channel of communication. This could be
an experimental confound, especially in comprehension tests about
anaphora.

In the same line, McDaniel's article do find a confound in previous
experimental tests about acquisition of anaphora, that were
insensitive to emphatic stress of the pronoun. This opens an important
line of reasoning and calls for the revision of other tests with
similar properties.

Montalbetti's article shows an intricate connection between lexical
semantics and syntax, regarding interpretation of anaphors, which seem
to be sensitive to some lexical shifts produced during the syntactic
process. A shifted antecedent makes its unshifted version unavailable
for anaphors but not for pronouns: this is a remarkable finding that
poses new questions about the nature of the lexicon-syntax interplay
(being the simplest one, why only anaphors do that)---- Montalbetti,
however, does not address this kind of questions.

Zagona's article successfully eliminates temporal anaphors as
explanation for temporal orders and dependencies. But she makes a
stronger claim: that each clause (main or embedded) is autonomous from
the point of view of tense. It seems that some phenomena, considered
''sequence of tenses'' for a long time, turn out to be aspectual in
nature. If true, this claims for a huge revision of most of the
literature on the issue.

Hoji's article about deep and surface anaphora is the one that makes
the hardest effort to link his findings with conceptual and cognitive
process, as well as with some assumptions in the generative view of
language. He succeeds in showing that the sloppy reading in surface
anaphora is obtained purely on the basis of linguistic resources,
whereas in deep anaphora that reading must relay on other cognitive
faculties. This is a strong case in favor of the so-called ''autonomy
of language.''

After reading Langendoen & Magloire's article, you will be so amazed
by the detailed machinery they display to catch all the logical
possibilities of reflexivity and reciprocity, that you will come to
the conclusion that some times is better to see the trees instead of
the forest. However, they have managed to do both. A logical
definition of reflexives and reciprocals is provided, valid across a
huge (and ordered) set of cases.

As final remark, I must say that it has been a great pleasure to read
this wonderful book. I have no doubts that it will be a starting point
for future research.

REFERENCES

Chomsky, Noam. 1995. The minimalist program: Cambridge, Mass.: MIT
Press.

Chomsky, Noam. Lectures on Government and Binding, Studies in
Generative Grammar ; 9. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Foris
Publications, 1981.

Dalrymple, Mary. 1991. Against reconstruction in ellipsis. Xerox
Technical Report, Xerox-Park, Palo Alto, CA.

En�, M. 1987. Anchoring conditions for tense. Linguistic Inquiry
18:633-657.

Fiengo, R., and Lasnik, Howard. 1973. The logical structure of
reciprocal sentences in English. Foundations of Language 9:447-468.

Fiengo, R., and May, R. 1994. Indices and Indentity. Cambridge, MA:
MIT Press.

Goodman, Nelson. 1951. The Structure of Appearance. Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press.

Hankamer, J., and Sag, I. 1976. Deep and surface anaphora. Linguistic
Inquiry 7:391-428.

Lasnik, Howard. 1976. Remarks on coreference. Linguistic Inquiry
2:1-22.

Pesetsky, D. (1989). The earliness principle, Ms. MIT.

Pustejovsky, J. 1995. The Generative Lexicon. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Quine, W.V.O. 1953. Reference and modality. In W.V.O. Quine From a
logical point of view, ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Reinhart, T. 1983. Anaphora and Semantic Interpretation. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press.

Saito, M. ''Long Distance Scrambling in Japanese.'' Journal of East
Asian Linguistics I (1992): 69-118.


ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Miguel Rodr�guez-Mondo�edo is a PhD student in the Department of
Linguistics, in the University of Connecticut. He has done research in
Binding Theory (in particular, Romance obviation), but he also has
strong interest in other aspects of Syntax (like DP structure and
clitic-doubling), Morphology (nominalizations) and Philosophy of
Language. His web page is http://rodriguezmondonedo.virtualave.net
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