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Thu Dec 06 2007
Review: Syntax: Everaert & van Riemsdijk (2005)
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Review: Syntax: Everaert & van Riemsdijk (2005)
Message 1: Review: Syntax: Everaert & van Riemsdijk (2005)
From: Randall Eggert <randylinguistlist.org>
Subject: Review: Syntax: Everaert & van Riemsdijk (2005)
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Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/17/17-387.html
EDITORS: Everaert, Martin; van Riemsdijk, Henk
TITLE: The Blackwell Companion to Syntax, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 5)
PUBLISHER: Blackwell Publishing
Fredrik Heinat, Göteborg University
The Blackwell Companion to syntax (SynCom) is a five volume set with 77 case
studies written by 80 leading generative syntacticians. All articles are written
especially for the SynCom and are previously unpublished. The SynCom comes with
a CD-rom with all the papers in XML-format. The books give a comprehensive
overview of the field of (generative) syntax, but perhaps not ''a complete
overview of the empirical facts,'' as the blurb states. The articles are not
thematically organized, but listed alphabetically. The limits of space do not
allow this review to do justice to the individual chapters presented. What
follows is a brief summary of the chapters in volumes one and two. Each summary
is followed by (even briefer) critical remarks. After that there is a
summarizing section and an evaluation of the CD and the two volumes as a whole.
The volume starts with a preface by the editors where they describe the aims of
the SynCom. The general idea is to provide good and thorough overviews of the
treatment various data have received in the history of generative syntax. The
editors' main concern is empirical questions rather than theoretical ones.
According to the editors, the intended reader is a graduate student or
researcher working in a nearby field, or even a full fledged syntactician
unfamiliar with a certain field of investigation. After reading an article in
SynCom, you should be familiar with the most important empirical facts, and
aware of important previous work dealing with these particular facts. In the
preface, the editors explain how they decided on the various topics of the
volumes. The following properties were considered to be important: ''a
well-delimited empirical area (both as to the construction(s) involved and as to
the languages the phenomena are found) whose analysis has, at one time or
another in the history of generative grammar, played an important role in the
theoretical debates at that time'' (p.xx). The decisions on topics and their
authors were made by a group of researchers, including the editors.
Chapter 1: The Accusative plus infinitive construction in English, by Jeffrey T
Runner gives a history of the analyses that have been proposed for the
'accusative plus infinitive construction', also known as 'raising to object' and
'exceptional case marking (ECM)'. The focus is on two analyses, the raising to
object, and the ECM analysis, that have been advanced side by side since the
early 80s. Runner gives the arguments for and against both analyses. The focus
is strictly English, though French is mentioned. The article is concluded by a
small synopsis of where the theory (minimalism, it appears) stands today.
This is probably exactly the kind of article the editors had in mind for the
SynCom. Runner's account of the different analyses is clear and lucid. One
drawback is that the article is centered on English, even though this
construction appears in a wide range of languages. Also, Runner's account misses
the fact that not all languages mark the subject in the embedded clause
accusative. In Finnish for example the ECM/raised subject gets genitive case.
Finally, Runner's concluding remark that syntacticians nowadays seem to have
agreed on the raising analysis, is strange in light of the minimalist program
(Chomsky,2001,2005) where case does not induce movement. My impression is that
there is no general agreement on a raising analysis yet.
Chapter 2: Adjectival passives: the construction in the iron mask, by Joseph
After a short discussion of what should count as a passive in general, Emonds
quickly gets to the main question of this chapter, the difference between the
two types of analytical passives we find, adjectival passives and verbal
passives. In the next section he gives a thorough account of the previous
studies that identifies the differences between these two types of passives.
Emonds goes on to present a novel analysis of the passive and his conclusion is
that, rather than taking the adjectival passive as being derived from the verbal
passive, which has been the standard analysis in generative syntax, we must view
the verbal passive as being derived from the adjectival one. The origin of the
similarities and differences in behavior of the two is due to the insertion of
their morphology into syntax. Adjectival morphology is inserted very low and
verbal morphology is inserted at Spell-out, which is why it has been interpreted
as a verb even though it is an AP.
Emonds' chapter is one of the longer ones in volume 1, this is partly because it
offers a good review of the syntactic behavior of the two types of passives, and
also because his own analysis takes up a lot of space. The fact that the reader
is provided with a new analysis is not bad in itself, the drawback, however is
that the analysis involves many references to phenomena slightly peripheral to
passives (for example the optionality of interpreting lexical heads at LF, and
the occurrence of phi-features on different heads and their contribution to
'economy of derivations'). There is nothing wrong in a new analysis, but it
seems to miss the point of the editors' aims in the preface.
Chapter 3: Adjectives: order within DP and attributive APs, by Daniel Valois.
Valois starts off with introducing the distinction between predicative and
non-predicative adjectives and relevant references (from the 60s up to the 90s).
The following section deals with the ordering of adjectives from a
cross-linguistic perspective. The following two sections present two major
analyses of adjective ordering; a semantic-based approach and a representational
approach. Valois presents arguments for and against both approaches. The chapter
is concluded by outlining central problems that a theory of adjectives should be
able to address.
Valois' paper is clearly presented and even though he presents his own previous
analysis the article doesn't feel biased. One particular thing that I like about
this chapter is that Valois, even though he is a proponent of one type of
analysis, admits that there is no analysis that that has general agreement. He
also refers the reader to relevant sources where central problems, for any
analysis, are discussed more thoroughly.
Chapter 4: Adverb classes and adverb placement, by Dennis Delfitto. (83-120).
Delfitto starts with a general introduction to the problematic category adverbs.
According to him there are no unifying criteria in either semantics, morphology
or syntax. And Delfitto's conclusion is that ''[a]dverbs (and more generally
'adverbials', that is, phrasal categories of different sorts roughly performing
the same function as lexical adverbs) constitute a still largely unsolved puzzle
regarding the mapping between syntactic and semantic categories.'' Delfitto
claims there seems to be agreement that the notion 'adverb' is dependent on
thematic and case-theoretic considerations and cannot be reduced to a categorial
primitive, but, on the other hand, sometimes it seems unavoidable to make use of
exactly this category. The rest of the chapter is divided into a semantic part
which deals with adverbs as sentence and predicate operators, and a
distributional part which deals with the placement and movement of adverbs.
This is an excellent overview of the semantics and syntax of adverbs. Delfitto
presents previous analyses unbiasedly and clearly. In addition he points out
various problems with these analyses. One minor problem in this chapter is that
the reference ''Cinque (forthcoming)'' is not in the list of references. From the
context it seems as if the intended reference is Cinque (1999), which is included.
Chapter 5: Affectedness, by Mona Anderson. (121-141).
The topic of Anderson's paper is affectedness, ''the relation between a
preposable object and its head in noun phrases'' (p121). She begins with a
general discussion of the phenomenon in question. In the following sections she
goes through the various attempts to explain affectedness in the literature. She
also discusses extensions of affectedness to verbs, middles, dative
constructions and various other constructions. She concludes by claiming that
affectedness is best described as a semantic primitive that constrains the
subcategorization frames of nouns and verbs. According to Anderson this is
corroborated by experimental work.
Anderson's chapter is a very illuminating discussion of the history of the term
affectedness. It presents clearly the pros and cons of various previous analyses.
Chapter 6: Analytic causatives, by Maria Theresa Guasti. (142-172).
The focus of this chapter is analytic causatives, i.e. causatives that are
formed with two verbs. The data is from Romance in general but Italian in
particular. In the first part Guasti gives the properties of the Romance
causative structure, which in fact turns out to comprise two different
structures: the 'faire-infinitif', and the 'faire-par' constructions. In the
second part Guasti gives a new analysis of the two constructions and the
framework seems to be a mix between government and binding and the minimalist
program. She claims that the two verbs are one syntactic unit because of head
incorporation. The differences (semantic and syntactic) we see between the two
structures are due to different thematic-grid associations of the causative
verb, and the affectedness constraint.
I find this chapter a bit different than the others. First, the focus is
extremely narrow. Guasti deals with Italian only. Second, only some of the
previous works she mentions actually try to analyze the causative. Compared to
the other chapters I would like more focus on the previous analyses and their
pros and cons. I also find it strange to limit the chapter to analytic
causatives (this might be the editors' choice), especially since the analysis
that Guasti suggests involves incorporation and treating two verbs as one. This
obviously begs the question how this incorporated complex compares to other,
morphological, kinds of causatives.
Chapter 7: A-not-A questions, by Paul Hagstrom. (173-213).
In this chapter Hagstrom gives a thorough overview of the construction A-not-A
question in Mandarin Chinese, exemplified in (1) (Hagstrom's (2)).
(1) ta xihuan-bu-xihuan zheben shu?
he like-not-like this book
'Does he like or not like this book?'
The chapter focuses on the data and the differences between the A-not-A question
and various other types of question constructions (excluding wh-questions).
Hagstrom goes through previous analyses, but not in great detail. The chapter is
concluded by a cross-linguistic overview of the construction.
Hagstrom's chapter is mainly concerned with data. As mentioned earlier, Hagstrom
leaves out the nitty gritty of previous analyses, which is good since it gives
the reader the broad outlines, without cluttering up the chapter with lots of
tiny details. The fact that the focus is narrowly Mandarin is explained,
according to Hagstrom, by the fact that the construction in question is most
well studied in this language. But, he continues, the construction, or its
parallels are ''relatively well attested'' (p 211), which leaves the reader a bit
puzzled when only three other languages are mentioned in the cross-linguistic
note section: Taiwanese, Cantonese and Singapore Teochew.
Chapter 8: Bare plurals, by Dennis Delfitto. (214-259).
Delfitto goes through various, mainly semantic, but also syntactic, analyses of
bare plurals. The chapter brings up the various semantic and syntactic
properties that have been the central concern for researchers. There is also a
section where Delfitto points out remaining problems. The focus is mainly on
English, but comparisons are made to Romance and Chinese.
Again, this is an excellent contribution by Delfitto. The section where he
points out remaining problems is very good. In some other chapters the reader
might easily get the impression that the final word has been said (for some
strange reason, usually by the author of the chapter) on the topic.
Chapter 9: Binding theory: terms and concepts, by Eric Reuland. (260-283).
Reuland's chapter on Binding theory starts with a general discussion about
binding and coreference, and then summarizes Chomsky's binding principles from
government and binding theory. The next section is a discussion about predicates
and reflexivity, followed by a section on different reflexive pronouns found in
different languages. There is a also a section on long-distance anaphora. The
chapter is concluded by a comparison of binding and logophoricity.
Reuland's chapter is slightly different from some of the other chapters. The
point of departure is not different theoretical solutions to a set of data,
instead it is rather a good overview of the different problems any theory of
binding should take into consideration. The reader gets references to previous
studies in connection to the data under discussion. The drawback with this is
that it is difficult to see what analyses have played a major role in the
development of binding theory since the binding principles in government and
binding theory. Also, there is no discussion about the status of the binding
principles from GB in the minimalist program. Since most of the syntactic
relations (government, subject etc.) in their definitions are done away with in
the MP, this is a relevant point which could have been discussed.
Chapter 10: Bridge phenomena, by Nomi Erteschik-Shir. (284-294).
In this very short chapter Erteschik-Shir gives the background to bridge
phenomena, the possibility to extract constituents out of embedded clauses. She
starts with an overview of structural approaches and concludes that
''speaker-specific data, contextual factors, and emphasis ... indicate that any
purely structural analysis will fail to account for bridge phenomena.'' She then
gives an overview of non-structural approaches. Her conclusions, based on her
own theory, are that focus structure has to be taken into account and that the
fact that we find cross-linguistic differences is problematic to any approach.
Unfortunately, the structural approaches get most of the space in this short
chapter. The consequence is that the reader gets very little understanding of
the approaches that, according to Erteschik-Shir, most adequately account for
Chapter 11: Case (with special reference to Japanese), by Kazuko Inoue. (295-373).
In one of the longest and most thorough chapters Inoue gives (all) the details
of studies on Japanese case. The chapter contains in detail summaries of
different approaches from the sixties to the latest developments in the
Minimalist Program. The focus is on Japanese and the consequences (or lack of
them) these various approaches have had on the development of syntactic theory.
This chapter is an excellent contribution to the volume. Inoue gives a good
overview of both the data that need accounting for, and the various analyses
that have been proposed. It is particularly interesting to see how the
discussion is tied to the theoretical developments generative theory has
undergone. Thanks to Inoue's meticulous overview the reader gets all (as far as
this reviewer can tell) information that is needed for an understanding of the
problems. It is not necessary to go to the sources in order to understand how
the analyses presented work, which is the case in many other chapters.
Chapter 12: Chinese 'Ba', by Yen-Hui Audrey Li. (374-468).
Li's chapter about the Chinese 'ba'-construction is also a very thorough
chapter. The 'ba'-construction is as follows: subject + ba + NP + V + X, or
subj. + ba + NP + X + V, where X is non-null. The first part explores the nature
of the different constituents of the construction and also contrasts it with
non-'ba'-constructions. Li deals with both syntactic and semantic/pragmatic
factors that play a role in the use of the construction. The review of data is
ambitious and the reader understands why this is such a tricky construction to
get a firm grasp of. The 'ba'-construction is also compared with the Korean
'Ka'-construction, which shows certain similarities. Li also provides a
structural analysis of the construction. However, any purely syntactic account
of the construction is bound to fail, she claims. The last part is a review of
two different approaches to the construction: an aspectual account and an
event-structural account. The conclusion is that neither analysis can account
for all the data, and that non-syntactic/semantic factors must be taken into
account, i.e. pragmatics.
This is a very well-written chapter and the data Li presents are complex indeed.
According to Li the 'ba'-construction has been ''one of the most challenging
topics in the literature on Chinese grammar''; therefore, it would be interesting
to see how previous analyses have dealt with the construction. Now the reader
only gets two quite recent, but according to Li, inadequate analyses. On the
other hand, the chapter is quite long as it is.
Chapter 13: Clitic climbing, by Reineke Bok-Bennema. (469-518).
Clitic climbing is the construction where a clitic (or clitics) are found
preverbally rather than postverbally, compare 1 and 2 (Spanish).
(1) Juana quiere darmelo.
Juana wants give+me+it
(2) Juana me lo quiere dar.
Juana me it wants give
'Juana wants to give me it'
The first section is an overview of the construction and a discussion of when it
is possible and impossible to use. According to Bok-Bennema the construction is
never obligatory in any context. The data in the discussion is mainly from
Spanish, but there are appendices with corresponding data from Italian and
Portuguese. There are also two appendices listing the Spanish and Italian verbs
that allow clitic climbing. The next section deals with locality conditions in
infinitival complements to clitic climbing verbs. Bok-Bennema goes through the
pros and cons of two approaches to clitic climbing: the Dual subcategorization
Hypothesis and Restructuring, and weaker variants of these. The last section
gives various approaches to the factors that constrain clitic climbing in
constructions where it is not possible. The most likely factors, according to
Bok-Bennema are the functional head I, and the subject.
This, too, is a very well-written and interesting chapter. Bok-Bennema presents
the data and the problems in a clear and precise way. The only thing that is
missing in the theoretical discussion (which might not be the author's fault) is
that there are no analyses that address the observation that either all clitics
climb, or they all stay in situ.
Chapter 14: Clitic doubling, by Elena Anagnostopoulou. (519-581).
Anagnostopoulou's chapter also deals with clitics. Clitic doubling is a
phenomenon where we find full DPs and their corresponding clitics as in (1)
(Spanish). According to the evidence Anagnostoupoulou presents, this
construction is not to be confused with right dislocation. Her data are mainly
from (Argentinean) Spanish and Greek.
(1) Lo vimos a Juan.
he saw-we a John
'We saw John.'
The chapter starts with a discussion of the data (mainly Spanish) and the
construction's (dis)similarities to right dislocation and clitic left
dislocation. Then Anagnostopoulou gives the major analyses that have been
proposed. She divides the analyses into three different groups on the basis of
what kind of theoretical framework they were based on. She recognizes four major
periods: (i) early GB-approaches, (ii) late GB, (iii) early 1990s, (iv)
fragmentation. The early GB approaches focus on clitic doubling as chain
formation and the importance of the preposition 'a' in relation to case. The
late GB approaches maintain a base-generated approach but introduce
'specificity' of direct objects (Diesing 1992). Also the importance of
prepositions is toned down. The third period draws heavily on theoretical
changes that took place at the time, for example the extended number of
functional projections and the conditions on head movement. The result is a view
of clitics as heads rather than XPs. The last period is different from the
previous in that it treats clitics as non-uniform; accusative clitics are
treated as determiners and dative clitics are treated as inflections. She
finishes the chapter with a loose outline of an analysis that can unify Greek
indirect object doubling and Spanish direct object doubling.
Anagnostopoulou gives good and thorough overviews of the important analyses in
Chapter 15: Comparative deletion and subdeletion, by Norbert Corver. (582-637).
Corver's chapter deals with comparative deletion and subdeletion, illustrated in
(1) and (2), respectively (583-4).
(1) John met more linguists than I met.
(2) John met more linguists than I met biologists.
The first section introduces the problem and the data that suggest that there is
a missing QP in the 'than'-clauses (hence the name 'deletion'). The second
section deals with this QP in detail. The third section presents two
transformational approaches to the problem, an unbounded deletion rule, and a
bounded 'wh'-movement rule. This section deals with the problems each approach
faces. The fourth section brings up a third analysis in which the gap in the
comparative clause is a base-generated empty pronoun which is licensed by an
interpretive rule. Corver also discusses the problems with such an analysis. The
fifth section discusses the arguments for treating comparative constructions as
coordination structures. Corver's conclusion is that more research is needed
before we can make any certain claims on the similarities between the two types
of structures. The sixth section provides more data on the phenomenon. The
seventh section compares comparative deletion and subdeletion in detail and
lists their similarities/differences regarding things like the requirement of a
gap, 'that'-trace effects, cross-over, etc. The final section is a conclusion
where Corver claims that there seems to be a certain amount of agreement that
comparative deletion can be accounted for with a 'wh'-movement approach.
Comparative subdeletion, on the other hand is still poorly understood and there
is no agreed upon analysis yet.
This, too, is a very well written and informative chapter. The reviews of the
different approaches are given without any bias. The reader gets to know both
the pros and cons of the approaches that Corver brings up.
Chapter 16: Conditionals, by Rajesh Bhatt and Roumyana Pancheva. (638-687).
Bhatt and Pancheva's chapter deals with conditional clauses. They start by
dividing conditionals into three different types: hypothetical, relevance, and
factual conditionals, shown in (1),(2) and (3), respectively (p 639).
(1) If Andrea arrives late, Clara will get upset.
(2) If you are thirsty, there is beer in the fridge.
(3) If Fred is (indeed) so smart, why didn't he get the job?
The main focus of the chapter is on the hypothetical conditional since this is
the type of conditional that has been given most attention in the literature.
The second section gives the authors' definition of a conditional: 'structures
involving an adverbial clause interpreted as stating the conditions under which
the proposition expressed in the main clause is true' (p 641). They also admit
that there are other structures than adverbial structures that admit conditional
interpretations, and the rest of the section shows examples from German,
Chinese, Russian, Hindi and some other languages. However, these other ways of
indicating conditionality are not included in the chapter. The third section
discusses various structural issues concerning the adverbial 'if'-clause. First
Bhatt and Pantcheva discuss the position where the adverbial is merged.
According to them the sentence initial and sentence final 'if'-clauses are
merged at different positions and not necessarily related by movement. Evidence
for this comes mainly from binding principle C violations and reconstruction.
The second part of the section deals with the internal structure of the
'if'-clause. The fourth section treats the relation between correlatives and
conditionals, and the function of 'then' as a correlative proform. The
conclusion is that the data speak in favor of an analysis that treats
conditionals with 'then' as a correlative construction with the 'if'-clause as a
free relative. The fifth and the sixth sections deal briefly with other
conditionals. The last section is a conclusion.
Again, a well written and clearly presented chapter. Bhatt and Pancheva manage
to introduce the reader to the crucial problems and analyses in this area.
Chapter 17: Contraction, by Grant Goodall. (688-703).
Goodall discusses two kinds of contraction: 'wanna'-contraction and finite
auxiliary contraction. The first part of the chapter is dedicated to 'wanna' and
the second part to the auxiliaries. The first section is an introduction to
reduction phenomena, and section two introduces the data that are relevant for
an account of 'wanna'. Goodall's conclusion is that there are two approaches to
the phenomenon: adjacency or subcategorization. The analyses Goodall briefly
discusses are two approaches that favor the adjacency approach (Baltin 1995 and
Boeckx 2000) and two that favor the subcategorization approach (Pullum 1997 and
Roberts 1997). Goodall's concludes that there is no general agreement on the
type of approach, just as it is unclear whether it is a syntactic or a purely
phonological phenomenon. In the third section Goodall presents the other kind of
contraction, finite auxiliary contraction. In contrast to 'wanna'-contraction
this seems, according to Goodall, to be a phonological type of contraction, even
though there are data that indicate that syntactic factors may play a role. The
conclusion is, just as in the case of 'wanna'-contractions, that the jury is
still out on the role of syntax in finite auxiliary contraction.
This, too, is a very well written and presented chapter. The data are introduced
clearly and are incorporated in the discussion very nicely. What I miss in this
chapter is a more detailed review of the actual analyses that are discussed. Now
the reader knows for example that Pullum 1997 presents a subcategorization
analysis of 'wanna'-contraction, and that Roberts' analysis involves lowering to
the embedded T, but not the exact workings and assumptions in the analyses.
Also, a cross-linguistic comparison of reduction phenomena would have been
Chapter 18: Copular sentences, by Andrea Moro. (1-23).
Moro's chapter is about copular sentences, and it starts with a discussion of
how difficult it is to define what a copular sentence is. Moro arrives at the
definition that copular sentences are the ones with 'be' (or its equivalent in
other languages) as the main verb. The second section deals with the special
characteristics of copular sentences. These include: verbal agreement,
'wh'-movement, cliticization, and binding effects, and the consequences of
inverting the order between two DPs in a copular sentence as in 'the letter(DP1)
was the cause of the trouble(DP2)' vs. 'the cause of the trouble(DP2) was the
letter(DP1)'. The focus is on English, but Italian is discussed as well. The
third section presents a theoretical account of copular sentences. The analysis
presented is Moro's own (1997), which assumes the two types (inverted and
non-inverted order) are derived by movement of different things: the subject:
[DP1 [V t1 DP2]], and the predicate: [[DP2 V]i [DP1 ti]]
Moro presents the data clearly and the empirical part is very good. When it
comes to outlining the theoretical importance and previously proposed analyses,
this chapter is less interesting. Moro briefly mentions Stowell's (1978)
analysis (in five lines) and then goes on to discuss his own analysis. This
seems to miss the purpose of the articles in the SynCom, which is to outline
previous research and theoretical implications of the phenomena included in the
Chapter 19. Derived nominals, by Bozena Rozwadowska. (24-55).
Rozwadowska's chapter is about 'eventive' nominalizations of verbs (i.e. of the
'destruct-tion'-type, not 'destroy-er'-type). The interest for this kind of
nominals has a long tradition The first section is an introduction, and in the
second section Rozwadowska goes through the 'lexicalist' vs. the
'transformational' controversy derived nominals have caused. The third section
outlines the different subcategories of nominals: result and process.
Rozwadowska briefly gives examples of different approaches this contrast has led
to, both regarding internal structure and subtypes of derived nominals. The
forth section describes different approaches that have taken the result-process
distinction to reflect aspectual properties. The fifth section presents a few
'neo-transformational' accounts of derived nominals, among them parallel
morphology, different functional structure in the derivation, and
configurational accounts. The last of these has been applied to Slavic
Languages. The following section considers intransitive nominals, i.e. nominals
derived from intransitive verbs. Rozwadowska points out that they are
problematic to virtually all the accounts presented in the chapter. Section
seven deals with nominalizations of psych, or experiencer, verbs. In the eighth
section Rozwadowska elaborates on the aspectual properties of derived nominals
and again her discussion extends to Slavic languages.
Again, a very well written and clear chapter. Since Chomsky's 'remarks on
nominalizations' has such a protruding role it is strange that Rozwadowska does
not mention Marantz's (1997) paper that makes extensive use of Chomsky's
argumentation for a syntactic view of word formation. As a matter of fact
'distributed morphology' is not mentioned once, even though some of the analyses
presented are within that framework. But on the whole this is a very interesting
chapter that outlines previous analyses at just the right level, the reader gets
the gist of the analyses, and is not lost in the nitty-gritty.
Chapter 20. Double nominatives in Japanese, by Koichi Tateishi. (56-72).
The first section in Tateishi's chapter introduces the double (or more)
nominative in Japanese (1) (Tateishi's (3c)).
(1) Jon -ga oji-ga me -ga chikai.
John NOM uncle NOM eye NOM near
'It is John whose uncle is nearsighted.'
The second section gives more details about the particle -'ga' (NOM) and how it
relates to another subject/topic marker -'wa'. Tateishi also discusses the
relation between topics and subjects in Japanese. In the following section
Tateishi presents Kuno's (1973) distinctions between the two particles. The
differences are mainly related to discourse information status. The fourth
section outlines different analyses that build on Kuno's work, but try to
overcome some of the problems Kuno's analysis faces. In the fifth section
Tateishi briefly outlines two analyses that try to account for how nominative
case is assigned to the 'derived' subject. The sixth chapter deals with multiple
subjects and their consequence for functional structure. Two approaches are
outlined: one that involves parametric differences between languages that allow
multiple subjects (and other things) and languages that don't, the second
approach treats the particles (-ga and -wa) as functional heads. The seventh
section is a conclusion, where Tateishi states that so far no theory can account
for all the characteristics of the Japanese double nominative construction.
Tateishi's chapter is very readable. It introduces the data clearly, together
with the theoretical accounts that have accompanied them historically. The
theoretical accounts are also presented at the right level, not too much, not
Chapter 21. Double object constructions, by Joseph Emonds and Rosemarie Whitney.
Emonds and Whitney present a long chapter on the double object construction. In
the first section they delimit it to constructions where two DPs are in
different semantic relations to a verb, and neither is predicative (i.e.
sentences of the type 'Mary considers John a bastard' are excluded).
Constructions with dative alternations, both 'to' and 'for', are included. The
second section deals with the two main approaches to the double object
construction: lexical alternation and transformational promotion. It goes
through different approaches in both camps and finishes the section with an
outline of Government and Binding analyses based on lexical alternation. The
third section is about 'an emerging consensus', as the authors call it, that
there is a transformational raising of the indirect object to direct object
position. They present restrictions that hold for raised objects and some
properties they share with direct objects. In this section data from various
languages are dealt with. The fourth section presents structural analyses of the
two objects. According to the authors there are two types, one that treats the
objects as arguments in a small clause, and one that treats them as two
arguments in lower verb phrases (e.g. Larson 1988). The last section is a
summary and conclusion.
This is a very extensive chapter, full of details. Emonds and Whitney outline
previous analyses and point out their merits and problems nicely. It is also
nice to see data from other languages than English illuminate the theoretical
Chapter 22. Ellipsis in DP, by Anne Lobeck. (145-173).
Lobeck's chapter deals with ellipsis in noun phrases. The first section is a
broad introduction to the topic. The second section deals with early analyses
that treat ellipsis in DP on a par with anaphora. These analyses treats the
ellipsis as 'one'-deletion: 'Lisa bought two apples, and she ate both (ones)
immediately.' The third section deals with the phrase structure of NP. Lobeck
points out the importance of this work for the arguments that noun phrases are
projections of determiners. Section four presents analyses in the Government and
Binding framework and how government and the empty category principle played
important roles. The last section is a conclusion where Lobeck summarizes the
consequences research on ellipsis in DP have had on various parts of syntactic
theory. She also lists more recent studies on the topic, dealing with different
This is a short chapter, well presented and clear. Since the chapter is short,
it would have been nice if outlines of some of the more recent analyses that
Lobeck lists in the conclusion were included. As it is now the most recent
analyses Lobeck deals with are from the mid nineties.
Chapter 23. Embedded root phenomena, by Caroline Heycock. (174-209).
Heycock deals with the distinction between root-clauses and embedded clauses.
The focus is on phenomena that occur in embedded clauses, but are usually
attributed to root-clauses, such as embedded V2. The first section is a very
short introduction where Heycock, in broad terms, discusses the history of the
research and empirical findings, starting with Emonds' (1970) distinction
between 'structure preserving' and 'root'-transformations. The second chapter
deals with problems in determining the root status of certain clauses. Heycock
presents the following cases of clauses, some easier than others to categorize
as root clauses: highest matrix clause and their coordination, other paratactic
constructions, and non-restrictive relative clauses. The third section
introduces a selection of structural and non-structural root phenomena in
English. Examples of structural phenomena are VP preposing, topicalization, and
left dislocation. Examples of non-structural phenomena are certain adverbial
adjuncts and interjections, usually involving speaker attitude. The fourth
section is a brief outline of semantic/pragmatic accounts of the distribution of
embedded root phenomena. In section five Heycock discusses what she claims to be
the most-studied syntactic root phenomenon, embedded Germanic V2. The first part
introduces the data from various Germanic Languages. The second part presents
various analyses and issues that are raised by them. The last section is a
conclusion where Heycock gives a summary and points out relevant areas for
future research, for example what kinds of assertion and illocutionary acts can
be expressed in embedded clauses.
This is an interesting read. Heycock presents the data and their analyses clearly.
Chapter 24. Existential sentences, by Andrea Moro. (210-236).
Moro's first section introduces existential sentences (ES) from French, German,
Italian, and English. Here he also introduces the semantic characterization of
an existential: to predicate the (non)existence of something. The focus is on
the syntactic structure of such a sentence. The second section goes through the
basic properties of ES. One property is the use of 'be' as the verb. Moro also
lists three of their defining properties: 1. movement of the subject (the
associate) is impossible, 2. movement from within the subject is possible, and
3. the determiner of the subject has an adjectival character. The third section
presents some earlier analysis of ES, starting with 'standard theory' that sees
the expletive as a place holder for the subject. The second approach is Moro's
own, extensively discussed in chapter 18. In this approach the expletive is seen
as a place holder for the predicate instead of the subject and is treated as an
inverse copular sentence. The fourth section deals with the definiteness effect
that we see in some languages, for example English. To contrast, Moro gives data
from Italian, which does not show a definiteness effect. The fifth section is a
Again an interesting and well written chapter by Moro. Moro primarily presents
his own work on ES and the reader is referred to his earlier work for background
on the topic, which seems to miss the point of the SynCom.
Chapter 25. Extraposition, by Mark Baltin. (237-271).
In the introduction Baltin describes extraposition as movement of an element to
the right of its canonical position. The second section deals with the position
of the extraposed element. Many data are presented together with previous (and
current) theoretical assumptions. The focus is on Guéron and May's (1984)
analysis, and their 'complement principles'. The third section continues the
discussion of their analysis and LF. The fourth section outlines 'the right roof
constraint' (Ross 1967). The right roof constraint says that an extraposed
element cannot move outside its clause. The rest of the section is dedicated to
this and its successor, Generalized Subjacency. The fifth section is divided
into two main parts, the first takes a closer look at an approach where the
extraposed element is considered to be base generated in extraposition, the
second deals with the so-called stranding analysis, where everything except the
extraposed element has moved to the left. Baltin's conclusion is that both
approaches have pros and cons. In the sixth section Baltin very briefly
discusses extraposition of PP. The seventh section presents a variant of the
stranding analysis which is based on the deletion of non-constituents. The
eighth section hapter presents an analysis (Fox and Nissenbaum 1999) that treats
different kinds of extraposition differently. The analysis makes use of
rightward movement and late merge. In the ninth, and final, section Baltin
introduces a construction that seems to have similarities with extraposition:
Baltin's chapter gives a very good view of the phenomenon and its history in the
theoretical development of generative grammar.
Chapter 26. Focus movement, by Kriszta Szendröi. (272-337).
Szendröi's chapter deals primarily with Hungarian. In the first section she
introduces three generative approaches to focus. They have in common the
assumption that movement is involved in focus. This section also includes
discussions about the semantics of focus and how focus is encoded in the
grammar. At the end of the section the relevant (Hungarian) data are presented.
In section two Szendröi presents the first approach (from a chronological
perspective). The characteristics of this approach is that focus assignment is
regarded as similar to case marking. A constituent must appear in the governing
domain of a verb to be focused. This makes focus assignment dependent on the
head parameter, and Szendröi briefly discusses languages that have either
preverbal or postverbal focus. The section ends with a discussion about the
similarities and differences between focus and case. The conclusion is that this
approach goes a long way in accounting for the data, but (as usual) not all the
way. The third section introduces the second approach. The analyses presented
here see focus movement and 'wh'-movement as related. Szendröi discusses
similarities and differences between the two. She also presents data from
Basque, which has been argued to have a focus criterion, and Italian, where
focus has been analyzed as a functional head, and relates this to 'wh'. The
section ends with a discussion, and Szendröi's concludes that this approach,
based on weak crossover effects, has to make counter-intuitive distinctions
between contrastively focused and discourse new entities. In the fourth section
Szendröi presents an analysis based on prosodic prominence. There are two
general types of approaches to focus: accent-to-focus (the analyses in the
previous sections) and focus-to-accent. Szendröi discusses these two types in
relation to the minimalist program. Her conclusion is that accent-to-focus
approaches must give up on Chomsky's (1995) inclusiveness condition, and
focus-to-accent approaches, though they maintain the inclusiveness condition,
must give up on the minimalist 'T-model' of grammar, where LF and PF are separated.
Szendröi's chapter is very interesting not just because it is a very good
outline of theoretical approaches to focus, but also because it is one of the
few chapters that includes a proper discussion of the current state of the topic
in the minimalist program. She shows how all analyses of focus fail to adhere to
either the principles or the architecture of a minimalist syntax.
Chapter 27. Free relatives, by Henk van Riemsdijk. (338-382).
Riemsdijk's chapter starts with an introduction where he introduces different
types of relative clauses: externally headed (most Indoeuropean languages),
internally headed (e.g. Japanese) and free relative clauses, such as 'You should
return what you have finished reading to the library.' Then he shows how free
relatives (FR) differ from embedded questions. The conclusion is that FR are DPs
that contain a CP. The disagreement in the field seems to be the structure of
this DP. Riemsdijk presents two structural alternatives of the DP; one without a
D head (1), and one with a D head (2).
(2) [DP CP].
The second section deals with analyses that have opted for the headed variant
(2). There are two main positions in this approach; one that assumes that there
is an empty pronominal element in the head position (if the head position were
truly empty we would have the structure in (1)) and one that sees the head
position as filled by either a pronominal element that is merged with the
'wh'-element or by the 'wh'-element itself. The conclusion Riemsdijk reaches is
that the 'wh'-element is in spec-CP, and that the head position is filled with
something that appears to be pro (rather than PRO). In the fourth section
Riemsdijk deals with so called matching effects. With few, if any, exceptions
the relative pronoun must meet the category and case requirements from both the
matrix and the embedded clause. The fifth section explores the difference
between free relatives and questions. It also includes a discussion about the
interpretation of free relatives. Section six presents an attempt to formalize
free relatives in a tree structure. This is done in a multidimensional tree
where the relative pronoun is shared between two structures. The analysis was
proposed already in the seventies but has been used by Riemsdijk himself as late
as 2001. According to Riemsdijk this proposal needs to be worked out in more
detail concerning for example linearization. The last section is a conclusion
where he states that many questions regarding free relatives are still open, and
depending on their answers it may be necessary to revise phrase structure theory.
Reimsdijk's overview of free relatives is very clear and informative. Given the
proposed analyses it seems like an understatement to say that 'we may be led to
revise the theory of phrase structure'(p372). Judging from the data that
Riemsdijk presents, it seems very difficult to incorporate shared elements in a
derivational theory like the minimalist program, especially since the outlined
analyses seem to assume that phrases may move between trees in a rather strange
fashion and consequently violate Chomsky's (1995) extension condition. This type
of movement must be even more problematic to account for in a derivation that
includes phases (Chomsky 2001). I would think that, obviously depending on the
answers to the questions that Riemsdijk discusses, we may have to revise a lot
more than theories of phrase structure.
Chapter 28. Freezing effects, by Norbert Corver. (383-406).
In this chapter Corver describes a particular island effect called freezing. In
the short introduction Corver describes the phenomenon as something that occurs
in certain movement-derived structures. The descriptive generalization is that
phrases from which extraction is generally possible, turn into islands after
movement, they are frozen. Also phrases to which an element has moved become
frozen. In the second section Corver presents two early accounts of freezing:
Ross (1967, 1974) and Wexler and Culicover (1980). Ross makes use of what he
calls the Immediate Self-Domination Principle. Given that moved elements are
adjoined the resulting phrase structure is one where one type of node dominates
a node of the same type (immediate self-domination). Wexler and Culicover make
use of the notion of structure preserving transformations to account for
freezing effects. The third section outlines in more detail different types of
movement operations that induce freezing effects. Movement to the right:
heavy-NP-shift, PP-extraposition and CP-extraposition; and movement to the left:
embedded topicalization and leftward scrambling (Dutch and German). This section
also includes a discussion of whether all types (A and A-bar movement) induce
freezing. Corver briefly outlines two GB approaches to freezing. One approach
makes use of Chomsky's barriers and treats moved phrases as blocking categories,
and the other makes use of trace theory, and claims that incomplete phrases are
bad antecedents, i.e. if something is moved out of a moved phrase the original
trace has an antecedent which isn't complete. The fourth section deals with the
fact that the phrase to which adjunction has taken place is frozen. The fifth
section is a conclusion where Corver points out that this type of islands has
received a lot less attention than the 'wh'- and complex-NP constraints.
Corver's chapter is well written and he presents the data and analyses very
clearly. Again, the most up to date analyses that are presented are within GB.
Neither blocking categories nor traces have any explanatory value in the
minimalist program. The fact that movement has an effect on extraction is
interesting in connection to Kayne's (1994) assumption about linearization.
Corver's discussion about freezing effects in all types of movement raises
several questions regarding Kayne's LCA. Adopting the LCA means that virtually
everything has to move at some point, and the freezing effects Corver deals with
must be accounted for in some other way. A discussion about this is lacking but
would have been very interesting, and one way to tie the chapter to more recent
Chapter 29. Gapping, by Kyle Johnson. (407-435).
In the first section Johnson defines gapping as an ellipsis in which one or more
verbs are removed. However, there's no agreement on exactly what counts as
gapping. A standard criterion is that it only occurs in coordinate structures,
as in (1) (Johnsons's (1)).
(1) Some ate beans and others, rice.
In the second section Johnson teases out the differences between other types of
ellipsis in coordinated structures, such as right-node-raising. In the third
section he outlines the constraints on gapping that are known. One such
constraint is the 'no embedding constraint'; for some reason gapping cannot
affect verbs in embedded clauses. The fourth section deals with gapping and
constituency. Crucially, gapping seems to be able to delete strings (i.e. verbs)
that are not usually thought of as constituents. Johnson outlines the two major
approaches to this problem: one approach focuses on the elements that are left
after gapping, and the other on the elements that are deleted. The conclusion
from both approaches is that gapping does affect constituents. Obviously both
approaches have their drawbacks. The second approach for example more or less
stipulates that English has the possibility to scramble objects, just like Dutch
and German. The fifth section deals with parallelism and scope. Johnson points
out that there are parallels between the antecedent clause and the clause with
the gap: the word order (regarding for example adverbials and subjects) and the
interpretation of scope must be the same in the two clauses. He also mentions a
few more recent theoretical attempts to incorporate these data. The final
section is a conclusion where Johnson briefly sums up how gapping is different
from other ellipsis phenomena.
Johnson's chapter is very centered on the data (English, very little Dutch and
German), and how gapping is different from other types of ellipsis. Even though
he mentions several analyses in the literature, both old and new, most space is
given to the very first analyses from the seventies. Since the chapter is short
it would have been nice to have an outline of more recent analyses as well, for
example Lin (2001), which is referred to a number of times. Even so, the chapter
is well structured and easy to read and Johnson presents and discusses the data
Chapter 30. Gerundive nominalizations, by Gary Milsark. (436-458).
In the introduction Milsark distinguishes between true gerunds and so-called
derived nominalizations. In the second section he outlines six theoretical and
descriptive issues of the gerund. First, distributionally the gerund is like any
other noun phrase, but internally it shows all characteristics of being a
sentence. The second issue concerns the subject position of the gerund. The
third is the subject-object asymmetry in extractions. The fourth is exceptional
distribution. There are certain cases where the gerund shows up where clauses
do. The two last issues concern the '-ing' affix and why it cannot, in general,
be iterated on contiguous verbs, and how many '-ing' morphemes there are. He
also lists a number of other languages that have constructions similar to the
English gerund but no data are provided. The third section is concerned with
generative approaches to the gerundive construction. Milsark discusses the six
issues from the previous section and gives ample reference to earlier and later
work that deals with each issue. The last section is a conclusion where Milsark
draws interesting parallels to other inquires in generative syntax.
Milsark's chapter is another chapter where the data are in focus. Milsark
introduces the theoretical problems the data pose clearly and lucidly. Even
though he provides lots of references to previous work, and present their gist,
one drawback of the chapter is that the details of the analyses remain unknown
to the reader. For example, one of the longer expositions into previous studies,
Marantz's (1997) analysis, is outlined in only 8 lines, including examples.
Chapter 31. Grammatical verbs (with special reference to light verbs), by Tara
(459-492). In the introduction Mohanan gives an outline of the chapter and
teases out the difference between grammatical and lexical verbs. According to
Mohanan light verbs belong to the class of grammatical verbs. One characteristic
of light verbs and their arguments is that they together form a complex
predicate, i.e. taken separately neither forms a predicate. Mohanan also makes a
distinction between verbal affixes and words, only verbs at the word level are
light verbs. According to Mohanan light verbs have three properties: first, a
light verb is identical in form to a lexical verb. Second, the light verbs does
not have the full meaning of the lexical verb. Third, the light verb and its
complement seem to form a single predicate-like unit. So in (1) we have a full
verb and in (2) a light verb:
(1) Mary took the book from the shelf.
(2) Mary took a bath.
Mohanan also points out that the complement of the light verb can be a noun
phrase, an adjective phrase or a verb phrase. Especially those light verbs with
verbal complements are difficult to distinguish from, for example, modals. The
third section concerns three central questions that, according to Mohanan, any
study of light verbs must address (p465). (i) What would a cross-linguistic
characterization of complex predicates be in order to distinguish it from other
constructions, such as modal constructions. (ii) Within the class of complex
predicates, what distinguishes light verbs from other types. (iii) What are the
parameters of variation among complex predicates, and what are the limits of
variability. Then she lists a few parameters of variation, for example
phrase-head status of verb and complement (separately and jointly), and argument
structure. The fourth section deals with nominal complements. Mohanan discusses
English, Hindi and Japanese. The English data provide a background to the
problems of the phrasal category of a light verb and its object. Mohanan uses
Hindi as a case study of the verb-noun combination. She also discusses the
importance of the Japanese light verb 'suru' and its importance in theoretical
developments of light verb constructions. The fifth section deals with verbal
complements. German is used to illustrate the difficulty of distinguishing
between raising/control and light verb constructions. Malayalam is used for a
case study on the light verbs 'give' and 'get' and their consequences for
assumptions of semantic bleaching, and Hindi for modal light verbs and the
difficulty of separating light verbs and auxiliaries. The sixth and seventh
sections briefly discuss adjectival complements, and the verb 'do' in various
languages. The eight section is on the relation between the full verb and the
light verb. Mohanan claims that their corresponding patterns cannot be captured
by linguistic theories at the present stage. In the ninth section she introduces
theoretical issues and problems of analysis. The first issue is how to represent
the mismatch in form and function. Mohanan mentions two types of approaches:
restructuring (GB) and parallel linked representations (LFG). Another issue is
whether the light verb is involved in the event structure or the argument
structure. The last section is a conclusion.
Mohanan's chapter is one of the few where English is not the dominating
language. Also, the focus is on data rather than theory. Mohanan does not
outline any analysis in detail, which is a pity. Light verbs seem to be an area
of research where other frameworks, other than the Chomskyan, appear to be more
adequate for analyzing the data. Most studies Mohanan refers to are within LFG.
Therefore it is not really clear, and Mohanan does not make it so, what the
importance of light verbs has been in the development of Chomskyan theories. The
data are followed by a very interesting and well written discussion.
Chapter 32. Honorifics, by Nobuko Hasegawa. (493-543).
In the introduction Hasegawa states that all languages have ways to make speech
polite: in English one may use a question instead of a direct command, and in
French there are two versions of the second person pronoun. There are languages
that have certain grammatical constructions that are used instead, hence the
relevance of honorifics in formal grammar, according to Hasegawa. One such
language is Japanese. In the second section Hasegawa introduces the three types
of Japanese honorifics: subject honorifics (SH), non-subject honorifics (NSH)
and hearer honorifics (HH). The chapter is mainly about the two first types. The
third section focuses on SH. Hasegawa presents a few analyses, most of them
within the minimalist program. The fourth section deals with NSH. Both types are
considered to be agreement phenomena, i.e. agreement in the sense of spec-head
relations or feature checking. The fifth section deals with other issues related
to honorifics, such as pro-drop, and concord. Hasegawa tentatively suggests that
honorific concordance, the impossibility of marking arguments with different
types (such as honorific and vulgar) might be due to an operator at the sentence
level. The last section is a conclusion and a summary. Here Hasegawa briefly
mentions studies that claim that the optionality of honorifics might indicate
that agreement is not the right way to go. However, Hasegawa defends the
agreement approach since once there is an honorific form, there must be agreement.
This is a chapter that goes into detail with the different proposed analyses.
Unfortunately, this happens too quickly and too many data are introduced in the
outlines of the analyses. A better way, I think, would be to extend the data
section and then present the theories. Furthermore, even if there is no
optionality regarding agreement once there is a honorific form, as Hasegawa
claims, the use of a honorific is dependent on the speaker's social status
vis-a-vis the arguments in the clause. Presumably this means that the honorific
features cannot be part of lexical items (or the lexicon will have to change
every time you climb the social ladder) but must be introduced into the
derivation somehow. How this can be achieved is not an easy problem to solve
(see chapter 26 and Szendröi's discussion of focus) and Hasegawa does not
Chapter 33. Icelandic logophoric anaphora, by Eric Reuland. (544-557).
In the introduction Reuland presents the Icelandic long distance reflexive and
its distribution. It is only possible to long distance bind the reflexive if it
is embedded in a subjunctive or an infinitive clause. He also outlines the
different conditions that must hold in these clauses. The second section deals
with reflexives in the subjunctive clauses. Reuland presents data (from previous
studies) that indicate that discourse factors are important, the antecedent has
to be the person whose perspective is reported, and that the antecedent does not
have to c-command the reflexive. The third section presents the reflexive in
infinitive clauses. The data Reuland presents here suggest the opposite, i.e.
c-command is crucial whereas discourse factors do not play any role. The fourth
section is a summary of the data. The fifth section introduces more data that
suggest that the reflexive in subjunctive clauses is not really bound, but gets
its interpretation just like an ordinary pronoun. This is supported by examples
where there is no syntactic antecedent at all. The last section is a summary and
an outline for future research.
Reuland's chapter is very well presented and the data he presents are very
interesting. However, his suggestion that anaphors perhaps do not need syntactic
binding (Reinhart 1983), i.e. a c-commanding antecedent begs the question how to
define an anaphor. As Reuland shows in section five, a sloppy reading is not
possible in subjunctive contexts if the reflexive is not c-commanded by the
antecedent. If variable binding is crucial for anaphoric status, then there seem
to be two different reflexives in Icelandic. If the morphophonological form is
the defining property, we will have to rethink our ideas of personal and
reflexive pronouns since these look the same in some languages (for example
first and second person pronouns and reflexives in Icelandic and other
Scandinavian languages), but different in others (for example English). There
are also lots of complicating data in the notes, which indicates that the
picture is not as clear cut as Reuland presents it. Apparently some speakers
accept long distance binding without c-command in indicative clauses under the
right discourse conditions.
Chapter 34. Implicit arguments, by Rajesh Bhatt and Roumyana Pancheva. (558-588).
In the introductory section Bhatt and Pancheva introduce the data that indicate
the presence (or absence) of an implicit argument (IA). They distinguish five
different types of constructions: passives vs. middles, IAs of nouns, null
objects, IAs of evaluative predicates and arguments of modals. They also mention
adjectives formed by the -'able' suffix, but do not discuss them further in the
chapter. PRO and pro are IAs in the authors' view, but since they traditionally
are not included in the category of IA, Bhatt and Pancheva don't discuss them in
the chapter. In the second section they discuss the difference between passives
and middles. Based on the possibility of using agent oriented adverbs and 'by'
or 'for' phrases they come to the conclusion that passives as well as middles
have an IA. In the third section they discuss IA in nominals. The basic
argumentation for IA hinges on the possibilities to control into infinitival
adjuncts. Previous analyses disagree on this possibility, and the authors'
conclusion is that the phenomenon is too poorly understood and can as such not
really be used as a diagnostics of IAs. But on the whole there are IAs in
nominals. The fourth section is about null objects. The conclusion is that there
is a difference between English and Italian: English has implicit object
arguments whereas in Italian they are syntactically realized. The fifth section
deals with IAs of evaluative predicates such as 'it is fun/difficult etc'. Since
PRO in infinitival complements can be controlled, Bhatt and Pancheva draw the
conclusion that evaluative predicates do have IAs. In the sixth section they
briefly discuss modals and IA. According to them there is disagreement whether
these arguments are syntactically projected or not. According to some studies
modals do not have external arguments and the IA is interpreted in the semantics
and identified pragmatically. In the conclusion the authors investigate IAs in
nouns with regard to variable binding. According to them IAs do not form a
uniform class, syntactically projected or not.
Bhatt and Pancheva outline the field of IAs in very nicely. Nevertheless, they
never provide a definition of any sort of what an implicit argument is. Clearly,
in BP's view, it is something that gets its interpretation without syntax.
Consider the following passage (p570): ''Note also that the possibility of double
Control as in 'Mary gave John a kick' is not problematic once we recognize that
the process by which the implicit arguments of 'kick' are associated with the
arguments of 'give' is not a syntactic process along the lines of PRO-Control.''
I agree that with this approach it is not a syntactic problem, but it certainly
does not bring us any closer to an understanding of what an implicit argument
really is, and how it gets its interpretation. It still seems problematic to say
that IAs get a semantic interpretation, without syntax, and are identified
pragmatically, without formalizing such an interpretation.
Chapter 35. Inalienable possession, by Jacqueline Guéron. (589-638).
Guéron defines inalienable possession (IP) as a construal of certain structures
involving two nouns, one noun is a body part and the other is the possessor of
that body part. Guéron bases her introduction on French and English. She claims
that there are basically three structures that allow IP. French allows all
three, whereas English only allows one of them. She also outlines the central
questions for the study of the IP construal: what are its syntactic constraints,
how does the mapping of syntactic and semantic arguments function, what
determines the difference between languages, and specifically how are these
differences related to acquisition? According to Guéron there are two basic
approaches to IP, one syntactic and one semantic. The second section deals with
syntax based theories of IP. Guéron outlines four different theories. The first,
which is Guéron's own analysis, sees IPs as anaphora and relates their behavior
to binding principles. The second relates them to A-bar binding. The third sees
predication as the important notion, and the last sees them as a possessor that
is generated in the body part DP and then raises. The third section outlines
three semantic approaches. The first two are very syntactic but incorporate
semantic constraints. The third analysis is based on Jackendoff's lexical
conceptual structure. In the following section Guéron expands her analysis from
the second section. The last section is a discussion about semantic constraints
and the minimalist program.
Guéron describes the syntactic approaches excellently. The outlines are clear
and easy to follow. Repeatedly Guéron points out that all analyses fail to
account for all the data. The analysis that seems to fare the best is the one
that uses Jackendoff's framework (Nicol 1997). The reason Guéron discards it is,
among other things, that it posits parallel grammatical components; it is better
with a simpler syntax she claims. This may be true, but the question is how
simple the syntax gets when she wants to include lexical features such as
[+animate] as a feature in the derivation. In Distributed Morphology, which she
makes reference to, such features are part of the encyclopedic knowledge rather
than the lexicon that feeds syntax. In addition her analysis makes use of
reconstruction, which is far from unproblematic in a grammar with a minimalist
design. Interestingly, no analyses seem to take the acquisition perspective that
Guéron mentions into consideration.
Chapter 36. Inverse linking, by Robert May and Alan Bale. (638-667).
In the introductory section May and Bale introduce inverse linking, the
preferred wide scope interpretation of the embedded quantifier in sentences such
as 'Someone from every city hates it' (p639). The stated aim is to trace the
theoretical accounts as well as to highlight ''the difficulties in investigating
the link between language and meaning.'' In the second section they argue for a
parallelism between the interaction of quantifier phrases (QPs) in complex NPs
and QP-arguments. The third section outlines the first accounts and their
implications for Logical Form. The section ends with some critical remarks about
more recent theories, all of which more or less ignore inverse linking. The
fourth section is a review of theories from the eighties. The last section is a
This chapter is in my opinion one of the best chapters in these two volumes. May
and Bale's discussions of both the phenomenon and its previous accounts and
implications for recent syntactic theories are very insightful and well
presented. Since quantifiers were the original reason for positing Logical Form,
it would have been nice if the SynCom had a chapter dedicated to LF.
Chapter 37. Left dislocation (including CLLD), by Artemis Alexiadou. (668-699).
Alexiadou's chapter is concerned with left dislocation (LD) of various kinds. In
the first section LD is introduced: 'John, I like him.' (p668). The second
section gives a cross-linguistic survey of different types of LD. The third
section deals with two types of LD: Hanging topic LD and Clitic LD. First
Alexiadou reviews the data and then she gives a very short outline of a
syntactic analysis of the two. The fourth section deals with Clitic LD only.
Alexiadou reviews two outlines, one movement based and one that involves base
generation of the dislocated element. The fifth section deals with the
similarities and differences between contrastive LD and Clitic LD. The last
section is about clitic LD in noun phrases.
Alexiadou gives detailed reviews of data and previous analyses. However, the
chapter ends abruptly in the middle of a discussion. A conclusion that sums up
the chapter is missing. Whether this is a mistake or not is difficult to say,
the table of contents does not contain a concluding section but the readers (at
least this one) certainly get a surprise when they flip the page after studying
the tree at the bottom of page 695 and see that the following page starts with
These two volumes are very interesting. It is obvious that syntactic research
has gone far and probed a great many constructions in various languages, even
though English is the most prominent language in the volumes. Having read two
volumes of the SynCom, there are two things that come to mind. First, in most
chapters the most recent research presented is from government and binding, i.e.
late eighties/early nineties. Very rarely are there outlines of minimalist
analyses. Given that the minimalist program has been around for more than a
decade, there should be more analyses that are worth more than a mere reference.
Szendröi's, and to a certain extent May and Bale's, chapters are welcome
exceptions to this trend. Szendröi's conclusion on the other hand is that
virtually all accounts, past and present, of focus are incompatible with the
tenets of the minimalist program. May and Bale are equally harsh in their
judgment. The second thing is that most chapters (dealing with English) mention
Ross's work (1967) in one way or another. This seems indeed to be a book that
has stood the test of time.
Obviously the qualities of the chapters vary, but all in all, these are two
excellent volumes that seem to suit their intended readership perfectly. One
small remark is that the articles are ordered alphabetically after title which
has the consequence that related topics appear in different volumes. I think it
is much more convenient if related topics are gathered together. As it is now,
Icelandic long distance reflexives is in volume two, whereas long distance
reflexives in other languages are in volume three, only because the titles of
the papers start with different letters. However, there is an excellent index,
more than a hundred pages long, that makes searches easy.
The accompanying CD is unfortunately a disappointment. It certainly does not
work as it should (the question is if it works at all. I have tried four
different CDs, but they all have the same problems, except one that was actually
empty). In order to read the papers one has to manually search the directories
and open the files, and some of the files won't even open. In addition, the
format of the papers that are possible to read is anything but reader friendly.
I don't see why the files aren't ordinary pdf-files, as in other handbooks in
this series, there's no point in fancy search tools and hyper links if you can't
read the papers anyway.
Finally, according to the editors this is an ongoing project (even though the
web page they refer to does not seem to exist) and I will take the opportunity
to suggest a few topics for future chapters namely, double definiteness,
(in)definiteness effects, aspect-aktionsarten, Logical Form, and parasitic gaps.
(I am very grateful to Eva Klingvall for comments and suggestions.)
Baltin, Mark. 1995. Floating Quantifiers, PRO and Predication. _Linguistic
Boeckx, Cedric. 2000. A note on Contraction. _Linguistic Inquiry_ 31: 357-366.
Chomsky, Noam. 1995. The Minimalist Program. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Chomsky, Noam. 2001. Derivation by Phase. In _Ken Hale: a life in language_ ed.
Michael Kenstowicz. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Chomsky, Noam. 2005. Beyond Explanatory Adequacy. In _Structures and Beyond_.
ed. A. Belletti. Oxford: OUP.
Cinque, G. 1999. _Adverbs and Functional Heads_. Oxford: OUP.
Diesing, Molly. 1992. _Indefinites_. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Emonds, Joseph 1970. _Root and Structure-Preserving Transformations_ PhD
Fox, D. and J. Nissenbaum. 1999. Extraposition and Scope. In _Proceedings of
Guéron, J. and R. May. 1984. Extraposition and Logical Form. _Linguistic
Kayne, Richard. 1994. _The Antisymmetry of Syntax_. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Larson, Richard. 1988. On the double object construction. _Linguistic Inquiry_
Marantz, Alec. 1997. No escape from syntax. In _Proceedings of the 21st Annual
Penn Linguistics Colloquium_. eds. Dimitriadis et al. Philadelphia: University
Moro, Andrea. 1997. _The Raising of Predicates_. Cambridge:Cambridge University
Nicol, Fabrice. 1997. _Syntaxe Minimaliste et Sémantique Conceptuelle_. PhD
dissertation, Nanterre, University of Paris X-.
Pullum, Geoffrey. 1997. The Morpholexical Nature of English 'to'-contraction.
Reinhart, Tanya. 1983. _Anaphora and semantic interpretation_. Chicago: Chicago
Roberts, Ian. 1997. Restructuring, Head Movement and Locality. _Linguistic
Inquiry_ 28: 423-460.
Ross, J.R. 1967. Constraints on variables in syntax. Published as _Infinite
Ross, J.R. 1974. Three Batons for Cognitive Psychology. In _Cognition and the
Symbolic Processes_,(eds) Weimer and Palermo. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
Wexler, K. and P. Culicover. 1980. _Formal Principles of Language Acquisition_.
Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Fredrik Heinat is currently working as a postdoc on a project on light verbs at
Göteborg University. The approach is generative in broad terms, including
derivational and representational frameworks.
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