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Review of  XP-Adjunction in Universal Grammar: Scrambling And Binding in Hindi-Urdu

Reviewer: Mohammad Rasekh Mahand
Book Title: XP-Adjunction in Universal Grammar: Scrambling And Binding in Hindi-Urdu
Book Author: Ayesha Kidwai
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Subject Language(s): Hindi
Issue Number: 14.2010

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Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 06:48:27 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: XP-Adjunction in Universal Grammar: Scrambling and
Binding in Hidi-Urdu

Kidwai, Ayesha (2000) XP-Adjunction in Universal
Grammar: Scrambling and Binding in Hidi-Urdu. Oxford
University Press. Oxford studies in Comparative

Reviewed by Mohammad Rasekh Mahand, Linguistics Department, Bu-Ali
Sina University, Hamadan, Iran.


Scrambling is among the hotly debated phenomena in
linguistics. This book investigates the properties of
Hindi-Urdu scrambling. The book discusses
XP-adjunction in Universal Grammar and proposes a
novel theory of binding and co-reference. Its author,
Ayesha Kidwai, is assistant professor of Linguistics
at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.


The book consists of six chapters. The first chapter
discusses some issues in the study of scrambling. It
begins with investigating the word order in
Hindi-Urdu. This language is a free word order
language and the different word orders are judged
optional and discourse-driven by its native speakers.
The data show that the different orders are related to
the notion familiar/specific. The writer believes that
scrambling is a uniformly derived XP-adjunction
operation. Section 1-2 in the first chapter sketches
some Minimalist background. The writer has talked
about Full Interpretation, the Projection Principle,
Procrastinate, Greed and the like notions to show how
scrambling fits in this framework. The book is as much
about the theoretical status of XP-adjunction and the
theories of Binding and co-reference in a Minimalist
Universal Grammar as about the proper analysis of
Hindi-Urdu scrambling.

Chapter 2 initiates a characterization of scrambling
as derived XP-adjunction by examining whether
scrambling can be characterized as NP-movement,
WH-movement, topicalization, or Quantifier Raising.
The writer shows that scrambling can not be any of the
above mentioned phenomena, and shows that an
NP-movement analysis of scrambling receives no
independent empirical corroboration; even the
erroneous assumption of a strict identity between
A-binding positions and cased positions can not
explain the ability of scrambled XPs to override Weak
Crossover Effects and license possessive reflexives.
Then the writer argues that scrambling, even as it
does exhibit some properties and functions typically
associated with WH-movement and topicalization,
diverges from them in both its locality constraints
and intrinsic motivations. Section 2.4 further
distinguishes scrambling from Quantifier Raising,
showing that although both operations target
XP-adjoined positions, the differences in the
interpretation of examples in which quantifier phrases
stay in situ and those in which a the quantifier
phrases are scrambled suggest that a scrambled
position does not count as an appropriate scope
position for quantificational items. The central claim
of the discussion in this chapter is that scrambling
is best analyzed as uniformly an XP-adjunction
operation that undergoes full reconstruction.

Chapter 3 discusses the structure of universal grammar
clause. The purpose of the writer in this chapter is
to delineate the basic structural environment in which
binding and coreference is to be determined in
Hindi-Urdu. In addition, the claim that the AGR-oP
projection is located VP-internally, by delinking the
specific readings of scrambled noun phrases from their
positioning in a particular Case checking position,
sets the stage for an independent account for this

Chapter 4 argues that since the syntactic evidence for
analyzing scrambling as XP-adjunction is overwhelming,
a reappraisal of the theories of binding and
coreference is required. The properties of possessive
reflexives and pronominals are examined and it is
shown that they have properties quite different from
the same categories in English. The LF-raising
approach to reflexive and pronominals interpretation
is incorporated into a novel theory of binding and
coreference that is sensitive to movement as a copying
and deletion process.

In chapter 5 the author defines the morphosyntactic
trigger for the scrambling operation as positional
focusing in a [Spec, FP] projection immediately
dominating VP and have suggested that the reason why
scrambling is necessarily an overt phenomenon is
because focus positions must necessarily be licensed
in the overt syntax. It is also shown that the
presuppositional interpretation that scrambled XPs
receive can be derived from the proposals of Diesing
(1992) regarding the quantificational force of
indefinites. Scrambled constructions are focus
constructions and the proper study of scrambling
across languages should locate it within the
focalization strategies in natural language.

Chapter 6 is on 'XP-adjunction in Universal
Grammar'. The assimilation of derived XP-adjunction
into the theory of movement has led to some
significant conclusions about the architectural design
of Universal Grammar. The book argues that
XP-adjunction as syntactic movement requires us to
revise many of the current assumptions about the
theories of binding, coreference, and reconstruction.
This chapter demonstrates that many of these revisions
have significant consequences for the theory of
economy in Universal Grammar.


The volume under review is based on the writer's
dissertation (1995). It mainly examines the syntactic
features of scrambling in Hindi-Urdu. Scrambling is a
phenomenon with different syntactic, semantic and
pragmatic features. The book is complete, as far as it
studies the syntactic features, but not so adequate
regarding its semantic and pragmatic features. It is
promising concerning Hindi-Urdu language, but it does
not address the universal issues in scrambling. There
are many scrambling languages and they have somehow
different features; however, the book is mainly
concerned with scrambling in one language, leaving out
many complexities of scrambling in different
languages. The book is truly informative for those
interested in syntactic features of scrambling.


ABOUT THE REVIWER: Mohammad Rasekh Mahand is a member of Linguistics Department at Bu-Ali Sina Universty, Hamadan, Iran. His research interests include syntax, syntax-pragmatics interface and typology. n