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

New from Oxford University Press!


Cognitive Literary Science

Edited by Michael Burke and Emily T. Troscianko

Cognitive Literary Science "Brings together researchers in cognitive-scientific fields and with literary backgrounds for a comprehensive look at cognition and literature."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Intonation and Prosodic Structure

By Caroline Féry

Intonation and Prosodic Structure "provides a state-of-the-art survey of intonation and prosodic structure."

Review of  Functional Structure in DP and IP

Reviewer: Asya Pereltsvaig
Book Title: Functional Structure in DP and IP
Book Author: Guglielmo Cinque
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Issue Number: 14.1479

Discuss this Review
Help on Posting

Date: Sat, 17 May 2003 00:04:41 +0000
From: Asya Pereltsvaig
Subject: Cinque ed. 2002. Functional Structure of DP and IP

Cinque, Guglielmo, ed. (2002) Functional Structure in DP
and IP. The Cartography of Syntactic Structures. Volume 1.
Oxford University Press, Oxford Studies in Comparative
(see book announcement on the LinguistList 13.3344)

Asya Pereltsvaig, California State University Long Beach

This volume presents the first results of a long-term
project, funded by the Italian government, aiming to
discover and map out the functional structure of natural
language sentences. Since the mid-1980s much of the
syntactic research has been aimed at a study of functional
categories in clauses and nominals. The goal of this
volume is to "set the question [of functional structure]
in a systematic and empirical fashion" (p. 3). One of the
major issues concerning functional categories is their
universality. The stronger position, the one that this
volume considers, is that languages employ a universal set
of functional categories, and that their number and
relative order is the same across languages. Different
types of evidence may be adduced to support this position,
including word order and (grammatical) morpheme order, the
order of nonlexical specifiers (i.e., specifiers other
than those hosing argument DPs in the layered VP), and the
order of restructuring verbs.


The volume opens with an informative introduction by
Guglielmo Cinque. It reviews the types of evidence for
functional structure and gives a brief overview of the
other contributions in the volume. The rest of the volume
is divided into two parts: Part I deals with the
functional structure in DPs and Part II with the
functional structure in clauses. The volume also contains
a subject index, a language index, and a name index.
References are listed after each chapter.

Chapter 2: The Positions of Demonstratives in the Extended
Nominal Projection. By Laura Brugè.
This chapter is concerned with the functional architecture
involved in the syntax of demonstratives. The main focus
is on Spanish demonstratives, which can appear either in
prenominal position or in postnominal position. It is
proposed that a demonstrative is always projected in a low
position inside the extended nominal projection. At PF
(Phonological Form), it can be realized either in its base
position (appearing postnominally) or in Specifier of DP
(appearing prenominally). It is shown that demonstratives
are generated in a position below functional projections
that host the different classes of adjectives and
immediately superior to the projection whose specifier is
occupied by the postnominal possessive. Furthermore, it is
shown that the demonstrative fulfills the same function
regardless of its appearance in the prenominal or
postnominal position: in both cases it provides a
referential interpretation. Hence, it is proposed that the
movement of the demonstrative into SpecDP is motivated by
feature checking. In Spanish it is option before Spell-Out
but Obligatory by LF (Logical Form). This suggests
extending the analysis to other languages making the locus
of variation in the obligatoriness, optionality or
impossibility of demonstrative raising before Spell-Out.
Therefore, some languages allow only prenominal
demonstratives (Italian, French, German, Albanian), other
languages allow demonstratives both prenominally and
postnominally (Spanish, Catalan, Bosnian, Romanian, Modern
Greek), while yet other languages allow demonstratives
only in the postnominal position (Hebrew, Irish). Thus,
the observed cross-linguistic variation with respect to
word order is explained in terms of feature strength and
not the differences in underlying functional architecture.

Chapter 3: The Functional Structure of Noun Phrases. A
Bare Phrase Structure Approach. By Giuliana Giusti.
This paper provides an overview of recent studies on the
syntax of determiners in Romance, Germanic and Balkan
languages and raises some important theoretical issues. It
is hypothesized that among determiners, only articles are
functional heads, whereas demonstratives and other maximal
projections carrying referential features check those
features in the Specifier of the highest functional
nominal projection, SpecFPmax. It is shown that a definite
article in some languages is inserted for purely syntactic
reasons regardless of the referential properties of the
nominal. In agreement with the previous chapter, it is
claimed that demonstratives are generated low and raise
into the highest Specifier position. Furthermore, it is
claimed that the term "determiner" is spurious. It is used
to refer to a number of very different entities which may
or may not be in complementary distribution. In addition
to demonstratives, other occupants of SpecFPmax, such as
possessive adjectives, personal pronouns, and proper names
are considered as well. Other phenomena considered include
apparent adpositions and adjectives inflected for

Chapter 4: Stacked Adjectival Modification and the
Structure of Nominal Phrases. By Gary-John Scott.
The chapter is concerned with the restrictions on the
relative ordering of adjectives. The proposed analysis is
based on Cinque's Universal Hierarchy of Clausal
Functional Projections. It is argued that adjectives are
not adjuncts but rather "specifiers of distinct functional
projections that are intrinsically related to aspects of
their semantic interpretation" (p.91). The central
questions that such an analysis must address are: (i)
which adjectives belong to which class, (ii) how many
classes of adjectives there are, (iii) whether certain
adjectives may belong to more than one class (as is the
case with some adverbs), (iv) whether these classes and
the ordering restrictions in which they occur are found
cross-linguistically. This chapter aims at shedding new
light at these questions. The methodology by which
ordering restrictions are approached is similar to that of
Cinque (1999): two or three adjectives are considered at a
time. The following hierarchy of functional projections
hosting adjectives is proposed: DETERMINER > ORDINAL NUMBER >
NP. The analysis highlights the tight connections between
syntactic and semantic components of the grammar.

Chapter 5: Clause Structure and X-Second. By Anna
Cardinaletti and Ian Roberts.
This chapter is concerned with a range of "second-
position" phenomena in various languages; from a
theoretical point of view its main focus is on an more
elaborate theory of Nominative Case assignment. It is
proposed on the basis of several Germanic and Romance
languages that there is a projection intervening between
Comp and the highest Infl-type projection, which the
authors call AgrP1, referring to the traditional AgrP, the
highest Infl-type projection, as AgrP2. Both AgrP1 and
AgrP2 are "subject" Agrs. This proposal connects a number
of "verb-second" effects with various kinds of "clitic-
second" effects, known in traditional grammar as
Wachernagel's Law and the Tobler-Mussafia Law. It is
proposed that the higher AgrP is responsible for
Nominative Case assignment, attracting clitics and
attracting the inflected verb. These three properties are
shown to be interrelated. Furthermore, it is proposed that
in languages that have both Agr projections the lower AgrP
is not responsible for Nominative Case. The languages
considered are Icelandic, Old French, Yiddish, German, Old
English, Old High German. The paper also considers
Stylistic Fronting and embedded topicalization.

Chapter 6: Agreement and Tense as Distinct Syntactic
Positions. Evidence from Acquisition. By Maria Teresa
Guasti and Luigi Rizzi.
As can be seen from the title, this chapter provides new
evidence for clausal functional architecture from studies
of language acquisition. It is argued that "tense and
agreement features are licensed in distinct syntactic
positions in English, with agreement higher than tense"
(p. 167). The basic pattern is the following: during the
third year of life, learners of English typically produce
negative sentences with third-person subjects and
uninflected 'do'. Although inflected and uninflected forms
seem to alternate in child English, this pattern is
surprising because the optionality of agreement on
negative 'do' does not carry over to interrogative 'do'; the
uninflected form of interrogative 'do' is virtually never
attested. It is proposed that interrogative 'do' and negative
'do' occupy different positions in the structure, higher and
lower than agreement, respectively.

Chapter 7: The Distribution of Functional Projections in
ASL. Evidence from Overt Expressions of Syntactic
Features. By Carol Neidle and Dawn Maclaughlin.
The originality of this chapter is in considering American
Sign Language (ASL), which like many other sign languages
has overt non-manual expressions of many of the major
syntactic features postulated to occur in functional
heads. "These expressions take the form of particular
gestures on the head and upper body that occur potentially
over phrasal domains, in parallel with manual signing" (p.
195). Specifically, this chapter focuses on expressions of
tense, aspect, agreement, and negation. The chapter starts
with important background information about ASL and ASL
research. It is proposed that in ASL agreement projection
is dominated by TP. It is shown that tense, modals and
negation can be expressed through the use of signing
space. Agreement, likewise, can be expressed through using
the signing space; it can also be expressed through non-
manual signs. It is thus concluded that functional
architecture of ASL is not much different from that of
oral languages.


Overall, this volume makes an important contribution to
the study of functional categories. One of its strengths
is bringing together research on a large number of
unrelated languages, including sign languages and child
languages. Thus, it goes beyond discovering functional
heads necessary to account for a range of phenomena in
specific languages and into streamlining a universal
theory of functional architecture. Another strong point is
in the interconnections between different chapters. For
example, chapters 2 and 3 are concerned with
demonstratives, chapters 5, 6 and 7 with agreement. The
conclusions made in different chapters seem to support
each other. This shows that distinct sources of evidence
can be brought together to support a uniform theory of
functional architecture. There are, however, certain
issues that the volume leaves largely open. For instance,
it is not clear whether the universal functional
architecture is an independent fact of grammar or whether
it can be derived from semantic considerations. Although
various papers in the volume adopt the stronger position
with respect to universality of functional architecture,
the question of whether all the functional projections are
present in all structures is not considered directly. It
is left open whether all clauses are CPs and all nominals
are DPs (or FPmax in Giusti's terminology). Despite its
wide linguistic coverage, the main focus of this volume is
on Germanic and Romance languages. It would be nice to see
more work on other languages, such as the notoriously
article-less Slavic languages.

Cinque, Guglielmo (1999) Adverbs and Functional Heads: A
Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.


Asya Pereltsvaig teaches linguistics at California State University Long Beach and Indiana University. In her doctoral dissertation she considered issues concerning the functional architecture of nominals and copular sentences. Her current work focuses on nominal functional structure in Russian, as well as in other Slavic, Romance, and Germanic languages.

Amazon Store: