LINGUIST List 8.955

Sun Jun 29 1997

Books: Syntax

Editor for this issue: Ann Dizdar <>

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Message 1: New books: syntax

Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 13:36:15 +0200
From: Rene H. Mulder <>
Subject: New books: syntax

KHALAILY, SAMIR; One Syntax for All Categories: Merging Nominal Atoms
in Multiple Adjunction Structure. [HIL Dissertations, 27.]
Ph.D. dissertation, Leiden University. The Hague 1997: Holland
Academic Graphics. Pb. xii+266 pp. ISBN 90-5569-027-9. Available
on-line from our website. Price (individual rate): $25/NLG 40
(excluding P&P). Information: or

The Antisymmetry of Syntax of Kayne and The Minimalist Program of
Chomsky figure prominently in current syntactic theorizing and
constitute probably the main achievement of the nineties in syntactic
theory. One Syntax for All Categories aims at changing the worldview
of syntactic theory from a Dualist picture into a Monist one. To
achieve this goal, it seeks to overthrow two main dogmas of the
minimalist theory of syntax: the dogma that the category V(erb) as a
lexical category has a primitive status in syntactic theory and the
dogma that the head-complement relation is an essential ingredient of
any theory of phrase structure. To substantiate the monist view on
syntactic structures, we set out to show in chapters 1 through 3 how
nominal atoms constitute the fundamental building blocks in erecting
the syntactic structures for action transitive clauses and stative
clauses, including (English) middles. In chapter 4, we marshal the
radical thesis that matrix declarative clauses are indefinite complex
nouns (with temporal construal) and offer supportive evidence for it
on both theoretical and empirical grounds. Functional categories are
then analyzed as modifiers syntactically left-adjoined to the NP
headed by the cognate mass noun which describes the eventuality of the
whole "clause". The property of recursiveness in natural language is
exclusively encoded in the syntax by means of right-branching multiple
adjunction structures. The head of these structures is formed by a
(cognate) noun that is modified by a fixed class of functional
categories. The hierarchy among the members of this class is based on
the semantic interaction between them. Holland Academic Graphics PO
Box 53292 2505 AG The Hague The Netherlands phone: +31 70 448 0203
fax: +31 70 448 0177
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