Grammatical functions, readily identifiable informally in particular languages, have had an uncertain status in generative grammar. Despite
Chomsky's assertion in Aspects that they are not theoretical primitives (a position vigorously challenged by a number of well-known theories), the role of functions such as subject and object has become increasingly prominent as Chomskyan linguistics has developed. As statements of principles and rules of grammar have grown to incorporate these notions, the position that grammatical functions are not primitives has come to merit scrutiny. The papers in this volume examine the current role of grammatical functions in transformational syntax in two ways: (i) through largely theoretical considerations of their status, and (ii) through detailed analyses for a wide variety of languages. Taken together the chapters in this volume present a comprehensive view of how transformational syntax characterizes the elusive but often useful notions of subject and object, examining how subject and object properties are distributed among various functional projections, converging sometimes in particular languages.
Contents and Contributors
List of Contributors. Foreword. Acknowledgements. Part I: Overview. 1.
Remarks on Grammatical Functions in Transformational Syntax;
W.D. Davies, S. Dubinsky. 2. Phrase Structure as a Representation of `Primitive' Grammatical Relations; M.C. Baker. 3. Grammatical
Functions, Thematic Roles, and Phrase Structure: Their Underlying
Disunity; F.J. Newmeyer. 4. Is Case Another Name for Grammatical
Function? Evidence from Object Asymmetries; A. Alsina. Part II:
Objects. 5. Subjects, Objects, and the EPP; H. Lasnik. Derived Objects in Malagasy; L. deMena Travis. Part III: Subjects. 7. The Distribution of Subject Properties in Irish; J. McCloskey. The EPP in Spanish;
G. Goodall. On Predication and the Status of Subjects in Niuean;
D. Massam. 10. Functional Architecture and the Distribution of Subject
Properties; W.D. Davies, S. Dubinsky. References. Author
Index. Subject Index.