LINGUIST List 9.937

Wed Jun 24 1998

Books: Syntax

Editor for this issue: Anita Huang <>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.


  1. Jud Wolfskill, Syntax: Optimality and Competition in Syntax
  2. Vivien Eng, Syntax: Structure, Meaning, and Function A Minimalist Introduction Syntactic Theory and the Structure of English

Message 1: Syntax: Optimality and Competition in Syntax

Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 16:32:54 -0400
From: Jud Wolfskill <wolfskilMIT.EDU>
Subject: Syntax: Optimality and Competition in Syntax

The following is a book which readers of this list might find of
interest. For more information please visit


Is the Best Good Enough? Optimality and Competition in Syntax

edited by Pilar Barbosa, Danny Fox, Paul Hagstrom, Martha McGinnis, and
David Pesetsky

Recent developments in linguistic theory have led to a reconsideration
of the role of optimality in the overall architecture of the grammar.
Emerging from this research is the idea that different components of
the grammar interact to yield the best choice from a set of candidate
derivations. This idea departs from traditional approaches to the
output of linguistic levels in generative grammar, in which rules,
principles, and constraints interact to determine the grammatical
status of each linguistic object independent of the status of possible

In the past five years, interest in the linguistic role of optimality
has been sparked by the sharpened notions of "economy" in Chomsky's
Minimalist Program and by Prince and Smolensky's Optimality Theory,
originally developed for phonology. Work on these ideas has raised many
new questions. These include new versions of an old debate between
constraints on derivations and constraints on representations, and
entirely new questions about the nature of the candidate set, as well
as questions about learnability and computability. Writing from a broad
range of empirical and theoretical perspectives, the contributors to
this volume examine the role of competition in syntax and in syntactic
interfaces with semantics, phonology, and pragmatics, as well as
implications for language acquisition and processing.

Pilar Barbosa is at the University of Minho, Portugal. Danny Fox, Paul
Hagstrom, Martha McGinnis, and David Pesetsky are all in the Department
of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of


Peter Ackema, Eric J. Bakovic, Joan Bresnan, Kevin Broihier, Luigi
Burzio, Noam Chomsky, Danny Fox, Edward Gibson, Jane Grimshaw, Yookyung
Kim, Geraldine Legendre, Masanori Nakamura, Ad Neeleman, Mark Newson,
David Pesetsky, Stanley Peters, Geoffrey Poole, Douglas Pulleyblank,
Vieri Samek-Lodovici, Paul Smolensky, Bruce Tesar, William J. Turkel,
Colin Wilson.

A copublication of The MIT Press and MIT Working Papers in

April 1998

7 x 10, 440 pp.

$25.00 paper

ISBN 0-262-52249-7

$50.00 cloth

ISBN 0-262-02448-9


Jud Wolfskill 
Associate Publicist Phone: (617)253-2079
MIT Press Fax: (617) 253-1709
Five Cambridge Center E-mail: 
Cambridge, MA 02142-1493 

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Message 2: Syntax: Structure, Meaning, and Function A Minimalist Introduction Syntactic Theory and the Structure of English

Date: 22 Jun 98 09:52:05 -0400
From: Vivien Eng <>
Subject: Syntax: Structure, Meaning, and Function A Minimalist Introduction Syntactic Theory and the Structure of English


Robert D. Van Valin, Jr. (State University of New York, Buffalo);
Syntax: Structure, Meaning, and Function; ISBN: 0-521-49565-2;
Hardback, 6 x 9, 742 pp.; Pub. Date: 10/31/97; PUBLISHER:Cambridge
University Press; $74.95; 

	This book is an introduction to syntactic theory and analysis
that can be used for both introductory and advanced courses in
theoretical syntax. It presents syntactic phenomena from a wide range
of languages and introduces students to the major typological issues
that syntactic theories must address. A generous number of exercises
is included, and each chapter contains suggestions for further reading
that encompass work from many theoretical perspectives.; Contents:
1. The goals of linguistic theory; 2. Syntactic structure I: simple
clauses and noun phrases; 3. Semantic representation I: verbs and
arguments; 4. Semantic epresentation II: macroroles, the lexicon &
noun phrases; 5. Information structure; 6. Grammatical relations;
7. Linking syntax and semantic! s in simple sentences; 8. Syntactic
structure II: complex sentences and noun phrases; 9. Linking syntax
and semantics in complex sentences; Epilogue: the goals of linguistic
theory revisited; Notes; References.;

Order Info:

	Andrew Radford (University of Essex); Syntax: A Minimalist
Introduction; ISBN: 0-521-58122-2; Hardback, 6 7/8 X 9 3/4, 294 pp.;
Pub. Date: 6/30/97; PUBLISHER:Cambridge University Press; $54.95; 

	This textbook is a concise, readable introduction to current
work in syntactic theory, particularly to Chomsky's Minimalist
program. It gives an overview of theoretical concepts and descriptive
devices. The discussion is based on varieties of English (Modern
Standard, Belfast, Shakespearean, Jamaican Creole) and does not assume
prior knowledge of syntax. There are exercises and a glossary. It is
an abridged version of Radford's major new textbook ^ISyntactic Theory
and the Structure of English: A Minimalist Approach^R (CUP, 1997).;
Contents: 1. Grammar; 2. Categories; 3. Structure; 4. Empty
categories; 5. Head movement; 6. Operator movement; 7 Subjects;
8. A-movement; 9 VP shells; 10 Agreement projections.; 

Order Info:


	Andrew Radford (University of Essex); Syntactic Theory and the
Structure of English: A Minimalist Approach; ISBN: 0-521-47125-7;
Hardback, 6 X 9, 570 pp.; Pub. Date: 5/31/97; PUBLISHER:Cambridge
University Press; $69.95; 

	A new textbook written for students with no background in
syntax, which introduces them to key concepts of Chomsky's Minimalist
program (e.g. merger and movement, checking, economy and greed, split
VPs, agreement projections), as well as providing detailed analysis of
the syntax of a range of different construction types. Illustrative
material is mainly drawn from varieties of English (Belfast English,
Shakespearean English, Jamaican Creole, etc.). There is a substantial
glossary and extensive workbook section with helpful hints and model
answers.; Contents: 1. Principles and parameters; 2. Categories and
features; 3. Syntactic structure; 4. Empty categories; 5. Checking;
6. Head movement; 7. Operator movement; 8.A-ovement; 9 VP shells; 10
Agreement projection!; 

Order Info:

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The following contributing LINGUIST publishers have made their backlists available on the World Wide Web:

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.
  • Oxford University Press
  • Francais Pratique
  • Routledge
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics
  • Mouton de Gruyter