LINGUIST List 9.1605

Sat Nov 14 1998

Books: Syntax, Syntax & Morphology

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>

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  1. Damon Zucca, On Economizing the Theory of A-Bar Dependencies, Wei-Tien Dylan Tsai
  2. Linguistics Mailbox, A Derivational Approach to Syntactic Relations

Message 1: On Economizing the Theory of A-Bar Dependencies, Wei-Tien Dylan Tsai

Date: 11 Nov 98 13:39:37 -0500
From: Damon Zucca <>
Subject: On Economizing the Theory of A-Bar Dependencies, Wei-Tien Dylan Tsai


Tsai, Wei-Tien Dylan; On Economizing the Theory of A-Bar Dependencies;
0-8153-3299-8, cloth; pages 222, $53; Garland Publishing; Outstanding
Dissertations in Linguistics

This book examines the typology of wh-expressions and indefinite NPs
within the Minimalist framework. It is divided into two parts. The
first part develops Chomsky's proposal that the theoretical status of
D-Structure should be nullified in favor of alternation between
Lexical Merger and Chain Formation up to the point of SPELL-OUT
(S-Structure). The author argues that, under Economy considerations,
Lexical Merger has priority over Chain Formation in building
operator-variable dependencies. A cross-linguistic correlation between
wh-question and quantification is further established to show that
operator-variable dependencies should be parametrized relative to
operator height, namely, operators merging into CP/IP in Chinese, in
PP/DP in Japanese, and into D0/N0 in English.

The second part extends Diesing's Mapping Hypothesis such that
syntax-semantics mapping is implemented in a local and cyclic manner,
where the nuclear scope of a given cycle is defined by the notion
"syntactic predicate" rather then VP. The author shows that a range of
subject specificity effects in various syntactic constructions fall
under this dynamic version of Mapping Hypothesis. Notable are those
associated with topicalization, non-restrictive relativization,
secondary prediction, and small clauses. Furthermore, existential
closure is understood as a last resort to eliminate unwarranted
variables within a syntactic predicate, ensuring that there is only
one open place per prediction. This move proves to be a natural
extension of Economy considerations to Semantics.

This book will be of interest to scholars in the field of syntax, semantics, and Chinese linguistics.

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Message 2: A Derivational Approach to Syntactic Relations

Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 11:37:14 -0500
From: Linguistics Mailbox <LINGUISTICSOUP-USA.ORG>
Subject: A Derivational Approach to Syntactic Relations


Samuel D. Epstein, University of Michigan, Erich M. Groat, City University
of New York, Ruriko Kawashima, Meiji Gakuin University, Japan, and
Hisatsugu Kitahara, Keio University, Japan

This book presents a Minimalist analysis of syntactic relations. The
authors argue that certain fundamental relations such as c-command,
dominance, and checking relations can be explained within a derivational
approach to structure-building couched within a new and controversial
level-free model of the syntactic component of the human language

October 1998 208 pp.
0-19-511115-X paper $29.95
0-19-511114-1 cloth $55.00
Oxford University Press
For more information about Linguistics titles from Oxford:
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1998 Contributors

  • Addison Wesley Longman
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cambridge University Press
  • CSLI Publications
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Garland Publishing
  • Holland Academic Graphics (HAG)
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • MIT Press--Books Division
  • MIT Working Papers in Linguistics
  • Mouton de Gruyter
  • Oxford University Press
  • Francais Pratique
  • Hermes
  • Pacific Linguistics
  • Routledge
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics