LINGUIST List 3.469

Sat 06 Jun 1992

Disc: X-Bar and VP's

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  1. Scott Delancey, Re: Query: X-bar and VP
  2. Eric Schiller, Re: Query: X-bar and VP

Message 1: Re: Query: X-bar and VP

Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1992 11:44 PDT Re: Query: X-bar and VP
Subject: Re: Query: X-bar and VP

Responding to Rick Morneau: The suggestion that the verb is the head
of its clause and all its arguments codependent is the basis of
dependency representation, as originated (as far as I know ?) by
L. Te`sniere, and used more recently by R. Hudson, John Anderson,
and others. I'm not aware that Jackendoff ever pursued such a
suggestion, but in any case it predates his birth.
Scott DeLancey
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Message 2: Re: Query: X-bar and VP

Date: Tue, 2 Jun 92 11:25:57 CDTRe: Query: X-bar and VP
From: Eric Schiller <>
Subject: Re: Query: X-bar and VP

If you are seriously interested in getting the GB/Barriers/Economy/
Minimalist particular version of X-bar to work, you should look at
Lieber's new book "Deconstructing Morphology", University of Chicago
Press 1992. That said, I think there are a huge number of problems
with her analysis, not all of them limited to the problems of thje
framework as a whole. I am working on a review and may post bits
as I go along.

But don't lose sleep over the fact that you are befuddled. The
research program of the principles and parameters framework ios
is not really geared toward producing complete and coherent
analysis of real language facts. The judgements of English seem
to change frequently, and those in Lasnik's recent LI article were
rejected by virtually everyone we have checked with here at UC.

The notion that case and theta theory apply accross some sort of
bridge between syntax and morphology is one which needs better
working out. Morphology played a significant role in Syntactic
Structures but disappeared from the framework during the 1960's
and 1970's. It has come back with a passion, but one should
expect a normal amount of meandering before any consensus is

The Principles and Parameters framewkork is intended to encompass
a wide range of language facts, and correspondingly has more
problematic areas than frameworks which focus on a single aspect
of language, such as RG. Although I don't agree with most of the
mechanisms they employ, being an Autolexicalist, I certainly
appreciate the problem. Morphology does seem to have a lot
of superficial resemblance to syntax, but I think that it is
wrongheaded to employ a model identical to syntax, as Lieber does.
It is a good hypothesis, but, like the Projection Principle,
recently abandoned, it will eventually fall in the face of
overwhelming problems with the data.

I will not post a lot ov verbiage here trying to prove the point,
but will end with a simple bit of food for thought:

Why do we always hyphenate material which would be syntactically
ill-formed but which we seem to find OK as morphology, e.g.
non-head final prenominal modifiers, phrasal compounds (devil-may-
care). I think it is an indication that our rules for morphology
are not the same as our rules for syntax.

Eric Schiller
University of Chicago
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