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Review of XP-Adjunction in Universal Grammar: Scrambling And Binding in Hindi-Urdu
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 06:48:27 -0700 (PDT) From: MOHAMMAD RASEKH 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 Syntax.
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 phenomenon.
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 REVIEWER:
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