Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

Donate Now | Visit the Fund Drive Homepage

Amount Raised:


Still Needed:


Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington

Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

New from Cambridge University Press!


Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.

Book Information

Sun Image

Title: Syntax at the Edge: Cross-Clausal Phenomena and the Syntax of Passamaquoddy
Written By: Benjamin T. Bruening

MIT PhD thesis 2001


This study attempts to understand a variety of cross-clausal dependencies through detailed study of one language, Passamaquoddy (Algonquian). It focusses in particular on three phenomena: successive cyclic wh-movement, wh-scope marking, and raising to object. In exploring these issues I adopt and argue for a recent approach to cyclicity, the phase and Agree theory of Chomsky (1998, 1999).

The successive cyclic nature of wh-movement is shown to be visible in
Passamaquoddy in a phenomenon of agreement with moving operators (wh-phrases, relative operators, and focus operators). This agreement appears on every verb along the path of movement. I argue that the phase theory coupled with a necessary Agree relation between each verb and a moving operator can account for this pattern, as well as a complex pattern of interaction between types of extraction and verbal morphology. Successive-cyclic agreement is also able to decide between competing theories of wh-scope marking, a construction in which short-distance wh-movement takes place but gives rise to a long-distance interpreta-tion, through association with a scope-marking element in a higher position. Agreement is shown to take place even with covert movement in Passamaquoddy, in focus constructions and internally headed relative clauses. In wh-scope marking, agreement indicates that one type of scope marking construction involves covert movement of the lower wh-phrase, but a second type (the less restricted of the two) does not. This fact and others that correlate with the difference in agreement indicate that
Passamaquoddy instantiates both of the leading analyses of wh-scope marking: Direct and Indirect Dependencies (van Riemsdijk 1983, Dayal

Raising to object is shown to involve a dependency of a different kind: one that is clause-bounded in one respect but not in another. Raising to object position does not actually target object position in the higher clause; instead an NP moves just to the edge of the lower clause, where Agree can take place with the higher verb (across a clause boundary). However, raising to object apparently feeds A-movement in the higher clause; but when it does, I show that the "raised" NP must be base-generated at the edge of the lower clause and not moved out of it. The reason (the ban on improper movement) follows from the way features are checked in a cyclic derivation. Data from Japanese are brought in to show the cross-linguistic generality of the principles adduced.

Publication Year: 2001
Publisher: MIT Working Papers in Linguistics
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: USD14.00