LINGUIST List 8.298

Sat Mar 1 1997

Books: Syntax and Semantics

Editor for this issue: Susan Robinson <>

Additional information on the following books, as well as a short backlist of the publisher's titles, may be available from the Listserv. Instructions for retrieving publishers' backlists appear at the end of this issue.


  1. Kristi Long, Syntax
  2. Kristi Long, Syntax/Semantics
  3. Kristi Long, New book-Syntax/Semantics

Message 1: Syntax

Date: 03 Feb 97 15:17:34 +0100
From: Kristi Long <>
Subject: Syntax

New book-Syntax

Moore, John C.; Reduced Constructions in Spanish; 0-8153-2579-7;
cloth; 2= 88 pages; $72; Garland Publishing

 Spanish, as well as other Romance languages, has a class of
syntactic constructions that simultaneously exhibit mono- and
bi-clausal behaviors. This work proposes an analysis within the
Government and Binding framework that seeks to capture this ambivalent
nature by analyzing these as Reduced Constructions; that is,
bi-clausal constructions whose embedded clause is a Verb Phrase (VP),
as opposed to a full embedded sentence. The class of reduced
constructions includes causative constructions (Curro se los hizo leer
a los ni=F1os. 'Curro made the children read it.') and restructuring
constructions (Te lo quiero mandar. 'I want to send it to you.').
 On the one hand, reduced constructions seem to involve a full
sentential complement. For example, their semantic structure appears
to involve a sentence embedded in another (i.e., Quiero
[mand=E1rtelo]. 'I want [to send it to you].'). In addition, certain
phenomena, such as passive, which usually only operates within a
single clause is sometimes disallowed in reduced constructions,
further attesting to their putative bi-clausality (?* El libro fue
hecho leer a los ni=F1os. 'The book was made to be read by the
children.') On the other hand, certain clause-bounded phenomena
appears to argue for the mono-clausality of these constructions. For
example, pronominal clitics (me, te, lo, . . .) usually must attach to
the verb to which they are logical arguments. However, as in the
examples in the last paragraph, clitics in reduced constructions may
attach to a higher verb. Similarly, despite the ungrammatical passive
above, some reduced construction allow such 'long' passives (Este
libro fue empezado a escribir. 'This book was begun to be
written.'). Hence, reduced constructions exhibit both bi- and
mono-clausal characteristics.
 This work presents a solution to this paradox within a Government
and Binding Framework. Following a proposal by Karen Zagona, it
proposes that reduced constructions involve VP-complements, where the
embedded subject is generated inside the VP. Building on proposals by
Luigi Rizzi, this VP-internal subject provides an account of the
bi-clausal characteristics, while leaving open the possibility of
certain mono-clausal effects. In contrast to many works in this area,
this study concentrates on Spanish (as opposed to Romance) data, and
therefore makes a contribution in developing an account based on an
in-depth examination of data from a single language.

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Message 2: Syntax/Semantics

Date: 03 Feb 97 15:07:58 +0100
From: Kristi Long <>
Subject: Syntax/Semantics

New book announcement-Syntax/Semantics

Reed, Lisa A.; Toward Logical Form: An Exploration of the Role of
Syntax in Semantics; 0-8153-2555-X; cloth; 344 pages; $68; Garland

 In contrast to the majority of research previously done on Logical
Form (LF), this study places equal emphasis on its syntactic and
semantic properties and proposes a model of the syntax-semantic
interface which defuses the tension between generative syntax and
model theoretic semantics, seeking to reconcile these two solitudes of
formal sentence grammar.
 Taking as a starting point Robert May's characterization of LF as
the level of representation which interfaces the theories of
linguistic form and interpretation, the author goes on to provide
in-depth analyses of two constructions in the French language which
both support the novel hypothesis that a dissociation of Case and
Theta-role assignments in the syntactic component is one means by
which the grammar of a given language may encode a conventional
implicature/semantic presuppositiona so-called non- truth-conditional
aspect of meaning. One important consequence this hypothesis holds for
the one mapping between syntactic and semantic representations. Rather, 
the grammar may allow two distinct semantic representations to be
independently built off a syntactic LF structure: the first
corresponding to the semantic assertion, the second, to
non-conversational implicatures.
 Thus, this book provides evidence for the existence of a link
between certain syntactic properties and the generation of dual
semantic translations of the type advocated by Karttunen and Peters.

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Message 3: New book-Syntax/Semantics

Date: 14 Feb 97 11:01:53 +0100
From: Kristi Long <>
Subject: New book-Syntax/Semantics

New book-Syntax/Semantics

Pan, Haihua; Constraints on Reflexivization in Mandarin Chinese;
0-8153-2851-6; cloth; 274 pages; $69; Garland Publishing

 This book recognizes a new subcategory SELF-ASCRIPTION as part 
of a three-way partition based on CONTRASTIVENESS, LOCALITY, and
SELF-ASCRIPTION for reflexives in Mandarin Chinese. The very
comprehensive review of the relevant literature shows that all the
previous analyses fail to provide a satisfactory explanation of the
properties of long-distance binding in Mandarin Chinese. Analysis of
30 million character texts reveals that, contrary to previous claims,
Mandarin reflexives can have inanimate antecedents. Further, the
blocking effect for the reflexive ziji, "self," is not symmetric; the
key factor for blocking is not feature conflict, but the difference
between first/second and third person noun phrases.

 This book argues for the importance of semantic and pragmatic, as
well as syntactic, factors in reflexivization, and for the untenablity
of any unified account of Chinese reflexives. Constraints are proposed
to account for each of the three categories of reflexivization
mentioned above. The locality and compatibility conditions extend
Chomsky's Binding Condition A, while a more fine-grained discourse
condition than Baker's is given for contrastive reflexives. The most
important contribution is the discovery of a new SELF-ASCRIPTION
subcategory of reflexives, of which the Mandarin ziji is an
example. Long-distance bound (non-contrastive) ziji is described as a
de se anaphor in Lewis' sense, which must be constrained by
self-ascription and bound by the source of the propositional attitude.
With the new category and ternary partition of reflexives, the book
provides a natural explanation for the possibility of long-distance
reflexive binding in Chinese, and for the asymmetry between
first/second person as opposed to third person noun phrases in
blocking long distance binding of the ziji reflexive.

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-----------------------How to get a publisher's backlist----------------------- Simply send a message to: (Internet) The message should consist of the single line: get publishername lst linguist For example, to get more information on a book published by John Benjamin, send the message: get benjamin lst linguist At the moment, the following lists are available: Blackwel lst (Blackwell Publishers) cornell lst (Cornell University Linguistics Dept.) erlbaum lst (Lawrence Erlbaum) benjamin lst (John Benjamin) kluwer lst (Kluwer Academic Publishers) mitwpl lst (MIT Working papers in Linguistics) pacific lst (Pacific Linguistics Publications) sil lst (Summer Institute of Linguistics) glsa lst (U. of Massachusetts Graduate Linguistics Association)