LINGUIST List 15.3022

Sun Oct 24 2004

Books: Syntax/Linguistic Theories: Breitbarth et al (Eds)

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        1.    Julia Ulrich, Triggers: Breitbarth, van Riemsdijk (Eds)

Message 1: Triggers: Breitbarth, van Riemsdijk (Eds)

Date: 19-Oct-2004
From: Julia Ulrich <>
Subject: Triggers: Breitbarth, van Riemsdijk (Eds)

Title: Triggers
Series Title: Studies in Generative Grammar 75

Published: 2004
Publisher: Mouton de Gruyter

Book URL:

Editor: Anne Breitbarth, University of Tilburg, The Netherlands
Editor: Henk van Riemsdijk, University of Tilburg, The Netherlands

Hardback: ISBN: 3110181398 Pages: vi, 496 Price: Europe EURO 98.00


The concept of 'trigger' is a core concept of Chomsky's Minimalist Program.
The idea that certain types of movement are triggered by some property of
the target position is at least as old as the notion that the movement of
noun phrases to the subject position is triggered by their need to receive
nominative case. In more recent versions of syntactic theory, triggering
mechanisms are thought to regulate all of movement. Furthermore, a quite
narrow range of triggering mechanisms is permitted. As is to be expected,
such a restrictive approach meets a variety of difficulties. Specifically,
the question is whether all triggering elements required to cover
displacement of all kinds in natural language can be independently
motivated. Further, how can a trigger theory, which crucially relies on the
idea that all movement is obligatory, deal with apparently optional
movement processes? Are features an adequate means to express the
triggering function in all cases? More radically, are all movement
phenomena really the result of the checking of trigger features? And what
about apparent triggering factors that are 'external' to syntax such as
prosody - can they be captured in a rigid trigger theory? In other words,
could certain aspects of triggered movement be due to interface conditions?
Such is the range of questions addressed by the fourteen contributions to
this book. They cover a considerable range of languages (including
Afrikaans, Breton, Bulgarian, Dutch, English, French, German, Gungbe,
Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kiswahili, Romanian). These papers present
materials, both empirical and theoretical, that will not fail to have
considerable impact on the further development of the concept of trigger in
syntactic theory.

Date of publication: 10/2004

Anne Breitbarth is a PhD Student at the University of Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Henk van Riemsdijk is Professor of Linguistics at the University of
Tilburg, The Netherlands


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Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories

Subject Language(s): Afrikaans (Language Code: AFK)
                            Bulgarian (Language Code: BLG)
                            Breton (Language Code: BRT)
                            Dutch (Language Code: DUT)
                            English (Language Code: ENG)
                            French (Language Code: FRN)
                            German, Standard (Language Code: GER)
                            Hungarian (Language Code: HNG)
                            Italian (Language Code: ITN)
                            Japanese (Language Code: JPN)
                            Romanian (Language Code: RUM)
                            Swahili (Language Code: SWA)

Written In: English (Language Code: ENG )

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