"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
Wasow, Thomas (2002) Postverbal behavior. CSLI Publications, paperback ISBN 1-57586-402-9, xiv+185pp, CSLI Lecture Notes 145, $25.00 (also available clothbound ISBN 1-57586-401-0, $65.00).
Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/13/13-2192.html
Reviewed by Loren A. Billings, National Chi Nan University, Taiwan
This monograph serves three interconnected purposes. First, it explores the factors that influence the order of postverbal constituents in an English clause (chapters 1 through 4). To do so, Wasow uses statistics from elicitation experiments and corpus studies. The second aim is to show that probabilistic factors have a place in the study of syntax (chapter 5). This supports the book's third purpose (chapter 6): to argue for greater use of statistical methodology in syntax.
The book "is based entirely on English evidence" (p. 14), although in a few places Wasow cites works that report how other languages (namely: Japanese, Korean, and Polish) do not pattern in the same way. Aside from having access to large and conveniently tagged corpora in--and an ample supply of native speakers of--English, Wasow has a theoretical reason to select this language. Although English has relatively fixed order of constituents, there is a lot of variability in how postverbal noun phrases (NPs) and other constituents are ordered.
Three related phenomena in English studied by Wasow are heavy-NP shift, dative alternation, and the particle-verb construction. To begin, heavy-NP shift describes the positioning of a particularly heavy nominal at the end of the clause. Dative alternation is characterized by the relative optionality of ordering of a ditransitive verb's two internal arguments (as in 'Chris gave the boy a book' and 'Chris gave a book to the boy'). So-called particle verbs allow their direct object to appear on either side of a preposition-like element (as in 'Pat picked up a book' and 'Pat picked a book up'). In each of these, the weight of a constituent can affect its ordering relative to some other constituent.
Wasow's preface discloses a play on words in the book's title: Chomsky’s (1959) review of Skinner's (1957) 'Verbal behavior' is "generally regarded as a landmark in the history of linguistics--indeed of the cognitive sciences more generally." This turning point was characterized by both the wholesale rejection of behaviorism, Wasow writes, and the subsequent abandonment of systematic procedures in how data are collected (p. xi). Wasow's book thus looks back on the generative-syntactic enterprise, reassessing these two issues. (Incidentally, a .pdf version of the table of contents, preface, and chapter 1 can be downloaded from the publisher for free: <http://csli-publications.stanford.edu/pdf/1575864029.pdf>.)
Many of the studies reported in the book were conducted with others. Among Wasow's collaborators are Jennifer Arnold, Herb Clark, Jack Hawkins, Barbara Lohse, and Adam Yarnold. Some of these studies are published separately as journal articles (e.g., Arnold et al. 2000 and Wasow 1997).
The remainder of this review is organized as follows: I begin by assessing individual body chapters of the book in the order that Wasow presents them. I then briefly discuss more technical things. This review ends with a few comments about salient issues that come up more than once in the book.
Chapter 2 is entirely devoted to exploring, defining, and explaining weight as a factor in determining the likelihood of heavy-NP shift, dative alternation, and the separability of a verb from its particle. Weight is also the one factor against which other factors are compared in subsequent chapters. Wasow begins with the Principle of End Weight (p. 3, quoting Quirk, et al. 1972): "Phrases are presented in order of increasing weight." He then summarizes eight definitions of weight reported in the literature (pp. 16-17). Some are categorical; others, graduated. (I discuss a few of these below.) The syntactic definitions mostly refer to whether the nominal contains a clause or prepositional phrase (PP) or whether there is a postposed modifier.
While Wasow is generally dismissive of a phonological definition of weight (about which I have more to say below), he contends that multiple factors help to determine the order of constituents (p. 23). Much of chapter 1 is devoted to pinning down which syntactic definition of weight is crucially relevant: word count or arboreal complexity.
Because his corpus studies fail to decide between these two yardsticks, Wasow designed an elicitation experiment to decide the question (pp. 32-37). I summarize that study briefly. Although similar in length, 'what happened' and 'the situation' in a particle-verb context (e.g., 'We talked ... over' and 'We talked over ...') are different in terms of complexity; only 'what happened' contains a clause. Analogous contexts using dative alternation and heavy-NP shift were also considered. For all three of these constructions, based on subjects' responses using four-point acceptability scales, Wasow finds that participants were more likely to rate sentences as acceptable if NPs with internal complexity appeared later in the clause (e.g., after both the verb and particle: 'We talked over what happened'), whereas NPs without such complexity didn't have to be postposed to be as acceptable (e.g., 'We talked the situation over'). That is, NP-internal complexity is a factor--independent of the number of words in the NP.
Using a corpus study, Wasow also shows that PP-internal NPs statistically are neither more nor less likely to affect the order in a verb-particle construction than NPs of the same length without internal PPs. At this point, I think Wasow criticizes Chomsky somewhat unfairly, suggesting that "Chomsky was wrong about particle position being sensitive to complexity rather than length" (p. 40), apparently referring to the following passage:
"It is interesting to note that it is apparently not the length in words of the object that determines the naturalness [...]. Thus 'they brought all the leaders of the riot in' seems more natural than 'they brought the man I saw in.' The latter, though shorter, is more complex..." [pp. 15-16, quoting Chomsky 1975:477]
Nothing in this quotation (not all of which I repeat here) even implies that an internal PP increases a nominal expression's complexity. In this sense, Chomsky appears to follow the definition proposed by Ross 1967, which refers only to NP-internal clauses (p. 16). Wasow is thus pinning the blame on the wrong theorist; it is Emonds (1976:112) who allows for PPs as well as clauses in his definition of complex NPs. Still, on the following page, in connection with dative alternation, Wasow credits Chomsky (as well as Hawkins 1994) with having observed that structural complexity, not just length, is relevant.
Wasow concludes that "any weight definition must be graduated, rather than categorical." He adds that "an explanation of weight effects must take into account the relative weights of constituents" (p. 57).
Building upon and critiquing Hawkins (1994:57), who writes that grammatical weight makes it easier for syntactic constituents to be "recognized (and produced) as rapidly and efficiently as possible in language performance" (p. 42), Wasow argues at length that postposing heavy constituents is primarily to the speaker's (as opposed to the listener's) advantage (pp. 42-56; see also Wasow 1997). The details of the corpus studies that Wasow reports are somewhat complicated, so I only sketch the idea here. In most cases, what is easier for a speaker to process will ease the listener's comprehension as well. However, it is possible to find constructions where processing load differs for these two parties. Wasow reports studies using (both written and spoken) corpora in which the choice of orders in heavy-NP shift and dative alternation, he contends, is influenced by planning (rather than by decoding) an utterance. (Another corpus study involving particle verbs failed to support either Wasow's claim or an alternative one put forth by Stallings et al. 1998.) Wasow concludes that "postponing difficult constituents and keeping options open as long as possible facilitates planning during utterance production" (p. 56).
Newness Discourse-new constituents also tend to be heavy. Although both information structure and weight have been studied extensively, according to Wasow the relationship between the two had not been assessed prior to his studies. In chapter 3 Wasow reports constructions that tease apart the two properties. Corpus studies and an elicitation experiment both lead him to conclude that newness is needed separately from weight.
The literature on information structure is fraught with distinctions and overlapping definitions (e.g., topic vs. comment, presupposition vs. focus, theme vs. rheme, and given vs. new). Wasow masterfully boils down the vast literature--functionalist and generative alike--to just a few paragraphs. Following Gundel (1988), Wasow sees two distinct claims: "State what is given before what is new in relation to it" and "Provide the most important information first" (pp. 62-63).
Several statistical studies, also reported in Arnold et al. (2000), show that newness to the discourse increases an NP's likelihood to appear later in the postverbal domain. First, a corpus study--with quite a bit of coding and culling by hand--was conducted. For both heavy-NP shift and dative alternation, information structure was found to be highly significant (independently of weight). In addition, an intricate and rather ingenious experiment--with subjects telling other participants to give objects of various sorts to toy animals--was also used to determine the interaction of newness and weight. Using a logistic regression, Wasow shows that weight (p[robability of error] < .005) and discourse status (p < .001) are highly significant, as is the interaction of these two factors with participant identity (p < .001 for both).
Rounding out the empirical part of the book, chapter 4 considers three additional factors which--in addition to weight and information structure-- appear to influence postverbal ordering. These are semantic connectedness, lexical bias, and avoiding ambiguity.
Previously unpublished studies (done by Lohse, Hawkins, & Wasow) show that particles that are dependent on the verb "occur adjacent to the verb more frequently than independent particles" (p. 86). A particle is dependent on the verb if its lexical meaning does not contribute to sentential meaning. (For example, 'I ate the bagel up' does not entail that the bagel went up.) Semantic connectedness, Wasow reports, is not a very strong effect but still significant (if weight, itself a stronger effect, is controlled for).
Next, Wasow reports that the choice of lexical verb itself appears to be a factor in how likely the following constituents are to appear in one order or the other. For example, among ditransitive verbs, a corpus study shows that _tell_ invariably uses the V-NP-NP order, while _sell_ almost always uses the V-NP-PP order. Other verbs fall somewhere in between (namely: tell > give > show > hand > fax > bring > send > sell ). Wasow allows for the possibility that this factor may derive from something else; at this point he admits that he cannot isolate what such a factor is.
The bulk of chapter 4 is then devoted to whether avoiding ambiguity is a factor influencing postverbal ordering (independent of other factors mentioned so far). Despite the vast literature showing that ambiguous sentences are harder to process, Wasow "found no compelling evidence that speakers use ordering to avoid attachment ambiguities" (pp. 88-89), adding that his results are not entirely unequivocal.
In some corpus studies of written texts there is apparently an ambiguity effect. However, Wasow adds (pp. 95-96), "when an interaction factor is added to the analysis, length and the interaction of length with ambiguity are both predictors of shifting, but ambiguity is not. These results suggest that ambiguity avoidance may exert some influence on constituent ordering, but the influence is quite limited." Wasow conjectures that writers--and especially editors, who serve as both readers and writers--are more likely than speakers to anticipate ambiguity in a text (p. 94). For this reason, he searched the (spoken) Switchboard corpus; here he found not even one example that could be explained using avoidance of ambiguity. Nor were two experiments he ran able to detect an ambiguity factor in spoken situations. Wasow correctly (in my view) conjectures that prosodic cues often disambiguate speech; 'we send the faculty lists' can be read as mono- or ditransitive: 'we send [the faculty lists]' or 'we send [the faculty] [lists]' (respectively). These two parses are not homophonous, however. The bracketed part of the latter parse contains a compound noun with more prosodic prominence on the first lexical word: [the FA.cul.ty lists].
The issue of prosodic cues aside, however, I think that Wasow is missing an opportunity to support his claim elsewhere (chapter 2 and Wasow 1997) that End Weight serves the speaker's planning, not the listener's recognition. Although I am not that familiar with the psycholinguistic literature on ambiguity and processing, it seems to me that ambiguity is mainly relevant to recognition (i.e., listening and reading), not production--especially not natural, spoken production; see, e.g., Ferreira & Dell (2000) or Snedeker & Trueswell (2003). If the listener's and the speaker's tasks are truly distinct, as Wasow argues quite plausibly, then avoiding ambiguity shouldn't necessarily be relevant to a speaker's algorithm for determining the order of postverbal constituents.
Wasow is careful to hedge himself when discussing increasingly less robust factors in the determination of postverbal ordering. Weight is certainly a factor (chapter 2), as is newness--independent of weight (chapter 3). The additional factors assessed in chapter 4--semantic connectedness, lexical bias, and avoiding ambiguity--are only plausible candidates. Whether these turn out to be separate factors or not is beside the point. Throughout the book, Wasow maintains that just one or two factors alone fail to account for all postverbal-ordering data fully.
Theoretical and methodological issues
Chapters 4 and 5 shift the discussion back to syntactic theory. These two chapters also ask whether the kind of findings of the previous chapters have a place in such a theory.
Wasow begins chapter 4 (called "Theoretical and metatheoretical issues") by summarizing in detail one influential work on double-object constructions in English, Larson (1988), and how it fails to account for certain more probabilistic aspects associated with weight. Among other things not adequately handled by generativists (although in this case Wasow does not criticize Larson 1988 as such), sentences like *'Mike talked to about politics yesterday my friends' (Ross 1967:125) are not unacceptable in every instance. The following is an attested counterexample: '[...] a landowner's right to rely on, in good faith, a city's representation' (p. 128, quoting the Orlando Sentinel). While such counterexamples are rare, Wasow writes (p. 129), "they are acceptable and do occur. Consequently, any analysis that rules them out is inadequate. The challenge is to come up with a theory that permits such examples while also addressing their infrequency." (I might add that Wasow's four counterexamples, all taken from newspapers, involve an adjunct separating the preposition from its complement.) Wasow later writes that "generative grammarians need to provide a justification for the systematic exclusion of frequency information from their models of linguistic competence." At the same time, "there is clearly a heavy burden of proof [on the part of anti-formalists] to show how a purely probabilistic system of constraints can capture the many discoveries that have come out of the generative tradition" (p. 133).
Primarily in chapters 4 and 5, Wasow cites no less than 20 works by Chomsky in connection with the related issues of probability and statistical methodology, almost always citing exact page numbers and often quoting lengthy excerpts and interacting with them. (However, I find it interesting that Wasow doesn't actually interact with Chomsky 1959, despite that review being so influential in the field and instrumental in the choice of the book's title.) Among the many issues Wasow raises are the distinction between I(nternal)- and E(xternal)-language and the nearly parallel issue of competence vs. performance. Keeping (categorical) grammar separate from probabilistic factors, Wasow claims, is a conceptual issue that appears to inhibit descriptive adequacy (p. 140); "Chomsky's extensive writings on I- language vs. E-language seem to presuppose that linguists must choose one or the other as the definition of language" and then adds forcefully (p. 146): "I reject that presupposition."
What makes one theory better than another? Chapter 5 (which Wasow entitles "Methodological issues") boils the answer down to simplicity, generality, and coverage. That is, generative syntacticians use these three criteria as guidelines. Although Wasow is clearly sympathetic to the idea that a child learns a language in a very short time span, he writes that appeals to rapid learnability "simply have no basis without some formal foundation" (p. 152); these things must be confirmed empirically, he implies. Regarding generality, Wasow attempts to point out an inconsistency in Chomsky's writings about language as a biological system on the one hand and redundancy on the other. If language is an organ that has adapted into its present form, then it is bound to have parts that perform identical functions. Wasow's discussion of coverage is more autobiographical. Writing about his own work, Wasow (1972), he stresses that some crossover phenomena are absolutely unacceptable while others are merely degraded. (Since that work, generativists have made a clear distinction between strong and weak crossover primarily because strong-crossover violations were thought to derive from a different principle.) Wasow's point is that hardly anyone has mentioned that weak-crossover violations are not absolutely unacceptable; generative syntacticians just aren't interested in graduated judgments.
Wasow asks why more generativists don't confirm their theories empirically. He comes up with two answers. First, many analyses are formulated too imprecisely to be testable against corpora. I find this claim a little far-fetched. In his own studies, Wasow had to make many judgment calls in order to allow statistical measurement. Some judgments were reasonable; others, quite a matter of preference. Regardless of whether it makes sense to me or anyone else, a judgment call is still a weakness in the process of empirical verification. Wasow's other answer is that theorists suspect that their models won't stand up to empirical scrutiny. I would add a third reason: laziness. Many linguists are comfortable with philosophizing about language or (at most) being introspective about it. Enough linguists agree that ideas count for more than the facts, making for the current situation.
Considering that Wasow is apparently trying to win over generativists in this regard, it might help if some additional readings were presented clearly. Some of these are scattered throughout his bibliography: Abney (1997), Manning & Schütze (1999), and Schütze (1996). However, at least one important work is not cited at all in the book: Cowart (1997). And Sorace & Keller (to appear) is worth mentioning as well. All these are listed in my references below. More technical matters
As in every review, there are details that need to be addressed. Generally, the book is handsomely put together. Here are some additional details:
The front matter contains Library of Congress cataloging-in-publication data, the acid-free standard of the book's paper, and a relatively complete table of contents. At the back of the monograph, following the American Psychological Association (APA) style used by psycholinguists in general, Wasow's references list authors' and editors' surnames but only initials of their given names. (In a sense, this choice between APA and the styles used in the general-linguistics journals is another indicator of how divided the theorists and psycholinguists are from each other.) Just a few citations in the book do not appear in the references: Erteschik-Shir 1979 (p. 8), Givón 1983 (p. 68), Manning and Schütze 1999 (p. 132, fn. 7). In addition, Hawkins (2001) has now appeared. Citations for all of these are listed my references below. I also found the name and subject indexes to be mostly (but not entirely) complete. The only truly confusing typo that I found involved the labels under pairs of bars in a graph (p. 56); based on the accompanying text's numbers, the labels "Brown Corpus" and "Switchboard Corpus" should just be swapped. The remaining typos--I counted about a dozen--were not that distracting; many refer to the wrong example/footnote/volume/page number or year.
Regarding the statistics, I did not detect any serious flaws in the design and methodology. However, the level of detail in how the elicitation and corpus studies reported in chapters 2 through 4 should not qualify the book as the primary report of a piece of social-science research. I say this not so much as a criticism of the book but to prepare some readers familiar with such research who may expect more detail. Some of the studies reported in the book have appeared separately as peer-reviewed articles in journals. Despite Wasow's longstanding interaction with psycholinguists, this book is nonetheless aimed at mainstream syntacticians. As such, the way some of the statistics is reported might raise a social scientist's eyebrow. In one case, however, I also found some inconsistencies in how the findings are reported. In addition to other justification of internal complexity in determining grammatical weight, Wasow ran (apparently two-way) analysis-of- variance (ANOVA) tests. I repeat his prose and the following quantitative findings (reformatted here with line numbers for expository purposes):
"Analyses of variance also reveal that complexity significantly affects preferences in ordering. For heavy NP shift and the dative alternation, the results are significant by both subjects and items. For the verb-particle construction, they are significant only by subjects. [...]
I will spell out only the technical notations relevant to my critique. The two factors are the subjects (F1) and the data items being compared (F2). I see some problems with this excerpt. The first is a matter of convention: Wasow twice lists statistically insignificant findings: "F2 p>.1" (in both instances). I can understand reporting figures that are close to being significant, but here the probability of error is over twice that of .05 (= statistical significance). Again, this is not an error as I see it but rather just a deviation from notational convention; perhaps Wasow lists these figures just for ease of comparison. The second problem is more substantial, however: Wasow writes, "For [...] dative alternation, the results are significant by both subjects and items." However, this is not consistent with the findings on line 4. The results were significant for both subjects and items only for line 3, in which the goal (or indirect object) was manipulated for complexity. One final qualm I have with this excerpt is the number of subjects. Earlier (p. 34), Wasow mentions that there were 88 completed questionnaires, one of which was discarded; "one (randomly selected) participant's responses to each of the other questionnaires were also thrown out." It appears that this balancing was performed for the follow-on ANOVA tests discussed only within the two dative-alternation comparisons on lines 3 and 4--i.e., "(1,86)"--and not for lines 1 and 2, with "(1,87)"; the number after the comma in these formulas is the number of subjects (88 or 87) or items (four) minus one.
This passage aside, however, I found the level of detail sufficient to guide a grammarian through the statistics without too much discussion of methodological matters. In addition, jargon (e.g., the name of statistical tests) was generally spelled out clearly for the uninitiated.
In the remainder of this review, I touch on some issues that come up more than once in Wasow's book. These topics are the rift between experimental and theoretical linguistics, extrasyntactic issues overlooked in the monograph, and "Why only after the verb?"
In a number of places, especially the somewhat autobiographical preface, Wasow talks about his transformation from grammarian to psycholinguist. (See also Wasow's early empiricist leanings in connection with his work on weak crossover, discussed above.) The following is also a telling vignette: "My change in methodology was quite naturally accompanied by a change in the questions I tried to answer. In particular, instead of seeking to formulate and justify formal analyses (rules, lexical entries, parameters, or what have you) within some generative theory, I asked, more straight- forwardly, what led speakers (and writers) to select one constituent ordering rather than the other.
"I quickly discovered that most generative linguists had little interest in the new question I was asking. Psycholinguists--especially those trained as psychologists--thought it was worth pursuing [...]. I observed that psychologists spend most of their time and effort on insuring the quality of their data--that is, on experimental design and analysis. That emphasis is strikingly different from generative linguists', and I have on occasion found myself wondering why psychologists give so little attention to developing high-level theories. It seems to me that both fields would benefit from acting a little more like the other." [pp. xiii-xiv]
Just as Wasow argues that probabilistic and categorical effects should not be isolated, I'm surprised that he continues to isolate the fields of psycholinguistics and theoretical linguistics. Perhaps this is just sad commentary on his part. If empirical confirmation of theoretical claims is necessary, then perhaps the wall between the two fields needs to come down.
Moving next to extrasyntactic factors, I found some of the discussion of phonology and semantics--and the lack of attention to morphology altogether--a bit worrysome. I address these three subdisciplines in reverse order. To begin, Wasow generally ignores the morpholexical effects of dative alternation. To be fair, one can't discuss everything in in a single monograph. Still, some references might have been useful. Turning next to semantics, I found the discussion scant and erratic. For example, Wasow briefly considers spray/fill verbs as in the following alternation: 'Pat sprayed the wall with red paint' and 'Pat sprayed red paint on the wall' (p. 9). However, because of "meaning differences" between the variants, this construction isn't investigated further. Agreed, there are meaning distinctions, but aren't equally elusive semantic differences to be found in dative alternation (i.e., between 'Pat bought the boy a book' and 'Pat bought a book for the boy')? Turning finally to phonology, there was quite a bit of discussion of prosody, although what Wasow does mention disquiets me somewhat. In this respect, Wasow is a bit hasty in dismissing the one definition of weight based on prosody: "the dislocated NP [in heavy-NP shift] is licensed if it contains at least two phonological phrases" (p. 16, quoting Zec & Inkelas 1990:377). As a counterexample, Wasow offers the following (witnessed at a recent meeting in Chicago of graduate-school deans): 'Can you clarify for me this business of bringing into the degree requirement teaching?' He adds that 'teaching' here, the lone word in the shifted nominal, "was destressed" (p. 21). I'm not sure what Wasow means. Surely, if rising intonation (characteristic of yes/no questions in General American English) had been pronounced, it would be very difficult for this word to be pronounced without some degree of prosodic prominence. Because the other, syntactic definitions of weight also have counterexamples, it would have been more fair for Wasow to have subjected this test, by Zec & Inkelas (two graduates of Wasow's department, no less), to the same level of empirical scrutiny. These quibbles aside, this book is aimed at syntacticians and--ably--discusses primarily syntax. Yet another niggling aspect of Wasow's book left me wanting. What is it about the verb phrase that allows noncategorical factors to creep into the ordering of constituents? Maybe the predicate must be uttered before planning of subsequent elements' arrangement (p. 56). My own work is on Tagalog (Austronesian), where the verb is generally initial and all other elements are arranged by weight and discourse factors. (This is the reason I became interested in Wasow's book.) Kroeger (1993) argues for a flat, exocentric structure for VP (which includes the subject and other NPs) as opposed to normal projection for other categories in the clause. Although Kroeger's analysis seems a bit ad hoc, at least it attempts to codify constituent-order freedom formally. Wasow neglects this issue--aside from pointing out a few constructions in chapter 1 (pp. 6-7, 9-11) in which some otherwise-preverbal heavy elements can appear at the end of the clause).
Wasow is careful to say that he is no Skinnerian (pp. xi, esp. xiv). In a way, however, this book signifies a swing of the pendulum toward empirical, scientific linguistics. In this connection, Wasow's book has also shown me scientific linguistics. In this connection, Wasow's book has also shown me how much of a philosopher's role Chomsky has taken in the past half century, preparing the way for the advent of true science in the study of language. In a sense, it is futile to expect scientific rigor from Chomsky (no more than Solzhenitsyn can be expected to show political savvy). Still, I cannot accuse this work of being mere methodological moaning--as (meta)bemoaned by Pullum 1983--because Wasow puts forth several concrete studies as a way to strengthen _existing_ methodology. As a generativist with longstanding and solid credentials, Wasow is in a very good position to present this kind of proposal. Wasow and his colleagues at Stanford and other universities in California have given the Chomskyan movement a run for their money, mainly in their theories' applicability to teaching computers to use language. Now we see a chance for computational ideas like corpus searching (and other statistical methods) to teach syntacticians to be scientists as well.
Abney, Steven (1997) "Statistical methods and linguistics." Judith L. Klavans & Philip Resnik, eds. The balancing act: combining symbolic and statistical approaches to language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1-26.
Arnold, Jennifer, Thomas Wasow, Anthony Losongco, & Ryan Ginstrom (2000) "Heaviness vs. Newness: The effects of complexity and information structure on constituent ordering." Language 76, 28-55.
Chomsky, Noam (1959) "A review of Skinner's Verbal Behavior." Language 35, 26-58. (Prefaced and reprinted in Leon A. Jakobovits & Murray S. Miron, eds. Readings in the psychology of language. Prentice-Hall, 1967, 142-143.)
Chomsky, Noam (1975) The logical structure of linguistic theory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Cowart, Wayne (1997) Experimental syntax: applying objective methods to sentence judgments. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Emonds, Joseph (1976) A transformational approach to English syntax. New York: Academic Press.
Erteschik-Shir, Nomi (1979) "Discourse constraints on dative movement." Talmy Givón, ed. Discourse and syntax. (= Syntax and Semantics, 12.) New York: Academic Press, 441-467.
Ferreira, Victor S., & Gary S. Dell (2000) "The effect of ambiguity and lexical availability on syntactic and lexical production." Cognitive Psychology 40, 296-340.
Givón, Talmy. (1983) "Topic continuity in discourse: an introduction." Talmy Givón, ed. Topic continuity in discourse: a quantitative cross- language study. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1-41.
Gundel, Jeanette K. (1988) "Universals of topic-comment structure." Michael Hammond et al, eds. Studies in syntactic typology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 209-239.
Hawkins, John A. (2001) "Why are categories adjacent?" Journal of Linguistics 37, 1-34.
Kroeger, Paul (1993) Phrase structure and grammatical relations in Tagalog. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.
Larson, Richard (1988) "On the double object construction." Linguistic Inquiry 19, 335-391.
Manning, Christopher D., & Hinrich Schütze (1999) Foundations of statistical natural language processing. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Pullum, Geoffrey K. (1983) "The revenge of the methodological moaners." Natural language and Linguistic Theory 4, 583-588. (Reprinted in 1991: Geoffrey K. Pullum. The great Eskimo vocabulary hoax and other irreverent essays on the study of language. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.)
Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, & Jan Svartvik (1972) A grammar of contemporary English. London: Longman.
Ross, John Robert (1967) Constraints on variables in syntax. Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Schütze, Carson T. (1996) The empirical base of linguistics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Skinner, B.F. (1957) Verbal behavior. New York. Appleton-Century-Crofts. (Reprinted in 1992 and 2002, B.F. Skinner Foundation.)
Snedeker, Jesse & John Trueswell (2003) "Using prosody to avoid ambiguity: effects of speaker awareness and referential context." Journal of Memory and Language 48, 103-130.
Sorace, Antonella, & Frank Keller (to appear) "Gradience in linguistic data." Lingua.
Stallings, Lynne M., Maryellen C. MacDonald, & Padraig G. O'Seaghdha (1998) "Phrasal ordering constraints in sentence production: phrase length and verb disposition in heavy-NP shift." Journal of Memory and Language 39, 392-417.
Wasow, Thomas (1972) Anaphoric relations in English. Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Wasow, Thomas (1997) "End-weight from the speaker's perspective." Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 26, 347-361.
As a linguist who does not work very much with statistics or at all on processing, I have relied on the following kind colleagues: Hsi-chin Janet Chu (National Taiwan Normal Univerisity), T. Florian Jaeger (Stanford University), and Irina A. Sekerina (City University of New York); although their comments have been extremely helpful, only I am to blame for any lapses in interpreting their sage advice or for any other errors that remain in this review. I also contacted the book's author, who was kind enough to confirm the missing references.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Loren A. Billings (Ph.D., Princeton, 1995) is associate professor of
linguistics at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National
Chi Nan University, Taiwan. Concentrating on the Slavic (Indo-European) and
Central Philippine (Austronesian) languages, he specializes in the
interfaces of syntax, morphology, and phonology. His publications also look
at the interactions of animacy and referentiality on constituent order.