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LINGUIST List 20.812

Wed Mar 11 2009

Books: Morphology/Syntax: Grillo - Morphology/Syntax: Tubau

Editor for this issue: Fatemeh Abdollahi <fatemehlinguistlist.org>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.
        1.    Parcival von Schmid, Generalized Minimality: Grillo
        2.    Parcival von Schmid, Negative concord in English and Romance: Tubau

Message 1: Generalized Minimality: Grillo
Date: 07-Mar-2009
From: Parcival von Schmid <lotuu.nl>
Subject: Generalized Minimality: Grillo
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Title: Generalized Minimality
Subtitle: Syntactic underspecification in Broca's aphasia
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series 186
Published: 2008
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke - LOT

Author: Nino Grillo
Paperback: ISBN: 9789078328605 Pages: 215 Price: Europe EURO 21.41

This dissertation addresses the issue of the relation between deviant
behavior in agrammatic Broca's aphasia and the theory of grammar.
Agrammatic Broca's aphasics have particular difficulties comprehending
semantically reversible sentences in which the canonical order of arguments
have been inverted.

The working hypothesis is that agrammatic comprehension deficits with
movement derived sentences are reducible to special cases of syntactic
islands and ultimately can be explained as a minimality (in the sense of
Rizzi 1990, 2004b) effect generated by an underspecification of the
morphosyntactic featural make-up normally associated with syntactic
categories. This impoverishment is attributed to a syntactic specific
processing deficit which allows for a partial recovery of the full feature
array needed to distinguish between a moved element and any potential
intervener. The underspecification hypothesis is extended to comprehension
and production deficits and, on this basis, parallels between deficits with
movement and binding are drawn. Particular emphasis is given to the
analysis of passives. Following Gehrke and Grillo's (2007, 2008) analysis
of passivization as an operation on the event structure of the predicate, a
novel approach to comprehension difficulties with passives in language
acquisition and breakdown is discussed. Experimental data on production
(originally discussed in Garraffa and Grillo 2008) of wh-questions in
Italian is also discussed.

This work is of interest to scholars working in the field of language
breakdown, language acquisition as well as to linguists interested in the
syntax of movement, locality and passivization.

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition

Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:

Message 2: Negative concord in English and Romance: Tubau
Date: 07-Mar-2009
From: Parcival von Schmid <lotuu.nl>
Subject: Negative concord in English and Romance: Tubau
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Title: Negative concord in English and Romance
Subtitle: Syntax-Morphology interface conditions on the expression of negation
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series 187
Published: 2008
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke - LOT

Author: Susagna Tubau
Paperback: ISBN: 9789078328612 Pages: 316 Price: Europe EURO 26.00

Negative Concord in English and Romance: Syntax-Morphology Interface
Conditions on the Expression of Negation studies the distribution of the
sentential negative marker (not, no, non, etc.) and n-words such as nobody,
nothing and the like in Standard English, Non-Standard varieties of English
and a number of Romance languages.

The author shows that the restrictions observed in the field of negation
(i.e. whether the negative marker can or cannot co-occur with n-words, for
example) follow from the interaction of syntax and morphology. Languages
may disallow, to different extents, redundancy of certain kinds of
linguistic features (e.g. negative features) in given contexts. Whenever
too many negative features co-occur in a syntactically-defined particular
domain, languages resort to a number of 'repair' morphological operations
that manipulate the output of syntax in different ways. This results in a
fair amount of variation in the systems of negation and Negative Concord
(i.e. the fact that in a given language more than one apparently negative
element results in just one semantic negation) across languages.

This study opens up a new line of research in placing the phenomenon of
Negative Concord in the syntax-morphology interface. Moreover, by assuming
that variation across languages with respect to Negative Concord is the
result of how sensitive languages are to some morphological constraint and
how they use a limited number of repair operations when the latter is
violated by the syntactic output, Standard English, Non-Standard varieties
of English and Romance languages such as Catalan and Spanish can be
uniformly analysed.

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Subject Language(s): English (eng)
Language Family(ies): Romance

Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:

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