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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Edge-Based Clausal Syntax
Subtitle: A Study of (Mostly) English Object Structure
Written By: Paul M. Postal

In "Edge-Based Clausal Syntax", Paul Postal rejects the notion that an
English phrase of the form [V + DP] invariably involves a grammatical
relation properly characterized as a direct object. He argues instead that
at least three distinct relations occur in such a structure. The different
syntactic properties of these three kinds of objects are shown by how they
behave in passives, middles, -able forms, tough movement, wh-movement,
Heavy NP Shift, Ride Node Raising, re-prefixation, and many other tests.
This proposal renders Postal’s position sharply different from that of
Chomsky, who defined a direct object structurally as [NP, VP], and with the
traditional linguistics text’s definition of the direct object as the DP
sister of V.

According to Postal’s framework, sentence structures are complex graph
structures built on nodes (vertices) and edges (arcs). The node that heads
a particular edge represents a constituent that bears the grammatical
relation named by the edge label to its tail node. This approach allows two
DPs that have very different grammatical properties to occupy what looks
like identical structural positions.

The contrasting behaviors of direct objects, which at first seem
anomalous--even grammatically chaotic--emerge in Postal’s account as
nonanomalous, as symptoms of hitherto ungrasped structural regularity.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: MIT Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0262014815
ISBN-13: 9780262014816
Pages: 488
Prices: U.S. $ 70

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0262512750
ISBN-13: 9780262512756
Pages: 488
Prices: U.S. $ 35