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LINGUIST List 21.4714

Tue Nov 23 2010

Books: Syntax: Bowers

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


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Directory
        1.     David Weininger , Arguments as Relations: Bowers

Message 1: Arguments as Relations: Bowers
Date: 16-Nov-2010
From: David Weininger <dgwmit.edu>
Subject: Arguments as Relations: Bowers
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Title: Arguments as Relations
Series Title: Linguistic Inquiry Monographs
Published: 2010
Publisher: MIT Press
                http://mitpress.mit.edu/

Book URL: http://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262514330

Author: John Bowers
Hardback: ISBN: 0262014319 9780262014311 Pages: 251 Price: U.S. $ 50
Paperback: ISBN: 0262514338 9780262514330 Pages: 251 Price: U.S. $ 25
Abstract:

In "Arguments as Relations", John Bowers proposes a radically new approach
to argument structure that has the potential to unify data from a wide
range of different language types in terms of a simple and universal
syntactic structure. In many ways, Bowers's theory is the natural extension
of three leading ideas in the literature: the minimalist approach to Case
theory (particularly Chomsky's idea that Case is assigned under the Agree
function relation); the idea of introducing arguments in specifiers of
functional categories rather than in projections of lexical categories; and
the neo-Davidsonian approach to argument structure represented in the work
of Parsons and others. Bowers pulls together these strands in the
literature and shapes them into a unified theory.

These ideas, together with certain basic assumptions--notably the idea that
the initial order of merge of the three basic argument categories of Agent,
Theme, and Affectee is just the opposite of what has been almost
universally assumed in the literature--lead Bowers to a fundamental
rethinking of argument structure. He proposes that every argument is merged
as the specifier of a particular type of light verb category and that these
functional argument categories merge in bottom-to-top fashion in accordance
with a fixed Universal Order of Merge (UOM). In the hierarchical structures
that result from these operations, Affectee arguments will be highest,
Theme arguments next highest, and Agent arguments lowest--exactly the
opposite of the usual assumption.

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/pubs/books/get-book.cfm?BookID=51511


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