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LINGUIST List 20.3889

Fri Nov 13 2009

Books: Syntax: Landau

Editor for this issue: Hannah Morales <hannahlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Diane Denner, The Locative Syntax of Experiencers: Landau

Message 1: The Locative Syntax of Experiencers: Landau
Date: 13-Nov-2009
From: Diane Denner <dennermit.edu>
Subject: The Locative Syntax of Experiencers: Landau
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Title: The Locative Syntax of Experiencers
Series Title: Linguistic Inquiry Monograph
Published: 2009
Publisher: MIT Press

Book URL: http://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262513067

Author: Idan Landau
Hardback: ISBN: 0262013304 9780262013307 Pages: 176 Price: U.S. $ 52.00
Paperback: ISBN: 0262513064 9780262513067 Pages: 176 Price: U.S. $ 26.00

Experiencer-- grammatical participants that undergo a certain psychological
change or are in certain psychological states-- are grammatically special.
As objects (John scared Mary; loud music annoys me), experiencers display
two peculiar clusters of nonobject properties across different languages:
their syntax is often typical of oblique arguments and their semantic scope
is typical of subjects. In The Locative Syntax of Experiencers, Idan Landau
investigates this puzzling correlation and argues that experiencers are
syntactically coded as (mental) locations. Drawing on results from a range
of languages and theoretical frameworks, Landau examines the far-reaching
repercussions of this simple claim.

Landau shows that all experiencer objects are grammaticalized as locative
phrases, introduced by a dative/locative preposition. "Bare" experiencer
objects are in fact oblique, too, the preposition being null. This
preposition accounts for the oblique psych(ological) properties, attested
in case alternations, cliticization, resumption, restrictions on passive
formation, and so on. As locatives, object experiencers may undergo
locative inversion, giving rise to the common phenomenon of quirky
experiencers. When covert, this inversion endows object experiencers with
wide scope, attested in control, binding, and wh-quantifier interactions.
Landau's synthesis thus provides a novel solution to some of the oldest
puzzles in the generative study of psychological verbs.

The Locative Syntax of Experiencers offers the most comprehensive
description of the syntax of psychological verbs to date, documenting their
special properties in more than twenty languages. Its basic theoretical
claim is readily translatable into alternative frameworks. Existing
accounts of psychological verbs either consider very few languages or fail
to incorporate other theoretical frameworks; this study takes a broader
perspective, informed by findings of four decades of research.

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Written In: English (eng )

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