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


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Oxford Handbook of Corpus Phonology

Edited by Jacques Durand, Ulrike Gut, and Gjert Kristoffersen

Offers the first detailed examination of corpus phonology and serves as a practical guide for researchers interested in compiling or using phonological corpora


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

The Languages of the Jews: A Sociolinguistic History

By Bernard Spolsky

A vivid commentary on Jewish survival and Jewish speech communities that will be enjoyed by the general reader, and is essential reading for students and researchers interested in the study of Middle Eastern languages, Jewish studies, and sociolinguistics.


New from Brill!

ad

Indo-European Linguistics

New Open Access journal on Indo-European Linguistics is now available!


Email this page
E-mail this page

Review of  Syntax and Semantics of the Left Periphery


Reviewer: Monika Basic
Book Title: Syntax and Semantics of the Left Periphery
Book Author: Horst Lohnstein Susanne Trissler
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Semantics
Syntax
Book Announcement: 15.3135

Discuss this Review
Help on Posting
Review:
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 2004 07:52:16 -0800 (PST)
From: Monika Basic <mbasic77@yahoo.com>
Subject: Syntax and Semantics of the Left Periphery

EDITORS: Lohnstein, Horst; Trissler, Susanne
TITLE: Syntax and Semantics of the Left Periphery
SERIES: Interface Explorations 9
PUBLISHER: Mouton de Gruyter
YEAR: 2004

Monika Basic, unaffiliated scholar.

OVERVIEW

This book contains 13 papers presented at the annual meeting of the German
Linguistic Society in Mannheim in 2002, together with an introductory
chapter.

The introduction by Horst Lohnstein and Susanne Trissler
entitled ''Theoretical developments of the left periphery'', opens up the
discussion by giving a very concise historical overview of the theoretical
developments regarding the clausal left periphery. Establishing functional
categories as core elements of sentential structure paved the way for
fruitful research regarding properties of clauses, and ultimately a more
fine-grained decomposition of different functional categories. The left
periphery came to be seen as determining the illocutionary force of the
sentence (declarative vs. non-declaratives) and hosted projections linked
to the discourse, such as force, topic and focus. On the semantic side,
researchers either focused primarily on the semantic representation of
different sentence types, or tried to develop a sentence mood theory that
would take into account both their syntactic and semantic aspects.

This chapter also includes brief summaries of each of the other papers in
the volume, giving us a taste of what is to come. The various
contributions by and large deal with German, but occasionally cross-
linguistic data is addressed where it bears on the issue of universal
characterization of the left periphery.

Katrin Axel's paper ''The syntactic integration of preposed adverbial
clauses on the German left periphery: a diachronic perspective'' looks at
the properties of preposed adverbial clauses (preAC) in the history of
German. In Old, Middle and Early High German documents, adverbial clauses
can precede the initial constituent of the declarative sentence, thus
violating the verb-second constraint (V2). These verb-third constructions
disappear at the end of the Early New High German (ENHG)period. Axel
argues that the verb-third effects are due to the impossibility of
generating preAC in sentence internal position. She assumes that preAC in
OHG, unlike their modern counterparts are not syntactically embedded, but
rather adjoined at the left periphery. Regarding the position of the
adjunction, she argues that it is the leftmost edge of the C-domain, based
on the observation that preAC precede certain illocutionary particles.
While this could suggest that they are extrasentential, it proves to be
very difficult to find unambiguous evidence for or against such a claim.
The order 'preAC-V finite' which is also attested in OHG, could indicate
that the preAC is either in the position within the left periphery or
adjoined to it, and thus does not provide strong evidence for sentence-
internal placement of preAC. It is somewhat surprising then that Axel
takes the major rise in the use of precisely this pattern in ENHG
as ''strongly suggesting that adverbial clauses became syntactically
embedded'' (p41), making it possible to base- generate them in the
specifier of CP. There seems to be some correlation between 'preAC-V
finite' pattern and the availability of V-first in declaratives, although
this point has not be particularly stressed. Axel informs us that main
clauses of 'preAC- V finite' constructions could appear as V-first
declaratives in independent contexts (which is predicted if preAC are
extrasentential in this case). It would be interesting to see what the
status of V- first declaratives in ENHG was (in MHG both 'preAC-V finite'
and V-first patterns are absent).

Searching for the reasons why adverbial clauses came to be syntactically
integrated in the period of ENHG, she evaluates and rejects two previous
proposals. Unfortunately, a more promising alternative is not worked out.

Josef Bayer's ''Decomposing the left periphery - Dialectal and cross-
linguistic evidence'' brings into play cross- linguistic data in order to
show that the CP domain is more articulate than it is apparent from the
surface form. The basic idea is that there is a uniform set of features
associated with the structure of certain clause types, but languages
differ in the feature content of the available lexical items, which in
turn leads to a different phonetic spell-out of the same feature
structure. The main evidence put forward comes from substandard varieties
of German and Dutch with doubly filled COMPs (i.e. both C and SpecCP
contain lexical material), and the form of the CP-recursion in substandard
Dutch (i.e. constructions that seems to have doubly filled C position). In
addition comparison is drawn between Western languages and certain East-
Asian languages. Bayer argues that the full feature specification of the
interrogative clause includes the feature of a wh- expression [wh], a
subordination feature [C], and a feature for disjunctivity [disj]. The
latter feature is not simply stipulated, but Bayer attempts to derive it
from the semantics of questions. As a result, the left periphery expands
into DisjP, CP and IP projections. In languages like English which obey
the Doubly-Filled-Comp Filter (DFCF), the wh-expression is specified for
[wh,disj,C], and thus is able to identify C and preclude the insertion of
a complementizer. In languages which do not respect the DFCF, a wh-item is
unspecified for the categorial feature C and a separate lexical item is
merged, giving rise to a situation where both a wh-expression and a
complementizer are present.

Things get a bit more complicated when we turn to cases of CP recursion,
where a wh-phrase, and complementizers 'of' and 'dat' can all occur at the
same time. Here we would expect 'of' to be specified for [disj], 'dat' for
[C], and a wh-phrase to be unspecified for both. However, in order to
ensure that the wh-phrase moves to the edge of the clause, Bayer assumes
that 'of' carries an optional EPP feature which needs to be checked, and
in order to make sure that it is checked by a wh-phrase he assumes that
the wh-elements carry [disj] feature after all, which is deleted after
being checked by 'of'. The assumption that these wh-phrases have [disj]
feature is supported by the observation that, unlike their German
counterparts, Dutch wh-phrases can't be used as indefinites. I must admit
I was left confused here as up to this point I thought that German wh-
phrases did carry this feature, except possibly in case of Bavarian 'wos'
('what') which is argued to be radically underspecified. Several other
points could have also been made clearer. For instance, why is it
necessary to merge 'of' at all if Dutch wh-phrases have a [disj] feature?
Since 'of' does not have [C] feature in cases of CP-recursion, what checks
[C] in cases where 'dat' does not occur, such as example 16 (p 65):
Hij weet hoe of je dat moet doen.
he knows how if you this must do

In the second part of his paper Bayer turns to representation of
illocutionary force in root clauses. After pointing out several problems
with the assumption that I-to-C movement is a device for establishing
force, Bayer concludes that although verb movement enables finite clause
types to activate force features, it is not sufficient for determining
force.

Ellen Brandner also explores V2 as a Force marking mechanism in her
contribution ''Head-movement in minimalism, and V2 as Force-marking.''
According to Brandner, certain languages (e.g. Korean) have the option of
lexically encoding force values through the insertion of appropriate
particles, while other languages have to resort to specific syntactic
configurations. Brandner argues that this is the case in Germanic V2
languages where both verbal and phrasal movement are required for clausal
typing. It is important to note that there is no feature checking of the
usual type in Brandner's system; instead a verb acquires a feature through
the mechanism of dynamic spec-head agreement when a functionally marked
phrase moves to its specifier. A further distinction is made between
languages that explicitly mark all Force values (e.g. particles in Korean,
V2 in Germanic); and languages where only the deviation from the
declarative is specified (e.g.Japanese and English).

The rest of the paper is dedicated to the analysis of verb- initial
structures in German. Here the construction is left underspecified with
respect to clause typing, which is as Brandner points out, a desired
outcome as it opens up the possibility for wide range of interpretations.
As a result, verb-initial structures can be ambiguous between
interrogative and declarative reading. Thus she manages to tackle some
arguments against V2 as a clause typing strategy that Bayer raises towards
the end of his paper. The solution however cannot be applied in Bayer's
system, as he assumes crucially different feature checking mechanism.

The paper by Franz-Josef D'Avis, ''In front of the prefield- inside or
outside the clause?'', brings us back to the issues regarding the level of
integration of adverbial clauses in German, this time from the synchronic
perspective. D'Avis focuses on a particular class of adverbial clauses,
namely conditionals of irrelevance (ICs),which are characterized
semantically as being related to the proposition of the main clause but
irrelevant for the truth of this proposition. Interestingly, these clauses
can precede the initial constituent of V2 clauses. This position is
normally unavailable for standard cases of adverbial clauses. Moreover,
unlike standard adverbial clauses, ICs are excluded from filling the
prefield position (i.e. they cannot immediately precede the verb in V2
constructions). D'Avis thus concludes that ICs are not syntactically
integrated into the main clause and should be treated as a kind of
parentheticals. On the other hand, he suggests that there must be a kind
of semantic/pragmatic integration, since standard ICs remain related to
the proposition of the main clause.

In order to help him classify ICs, D'Avis considers the corresponding data
from Swedish. There are significant differences between Swedish and German
ICs, which bring to light certain problems with the parenthetical
hypothesis. In Swedish, unlike in German, all verb-final ICs are allowed
in the prefield, while V1 and V2 ICs are grammatical only in front of the
prefield. He takes this to indicate that verb-final ICs in Swedish are in
fact subordinated. The situation is rather more complicated in German
where a certain type of ICs ((auch)wenn-ICs) behave like their Swedish
counterparts in that they are possible both in the prefield and in front
of it. He concludes that 'wenn...auch' clauses are special because they
need a concessive adverbial in the middlefield of the main clause.
However, the reasons for this remain obscure, as well as the reasons for
why Swedish classifies ICs differently from German. The semantics also
does not fall into place; ICs seem to share semantic interpretation with
other adverbial clauses, which is problematic under the assumption that
they are not syntactically integrated.

When all is summed up, the data are interesting and clearly presented, a
possible solution is suggested (in the theory of parentheticals, although
the theory itself is unfortunately not sketched out), the challenges are
outlined, and the answers are left for future research.

Jan Eden's paper, ''Uniformity and Variation: On the relation of wh-phrases
and sentence moods in German'' argues for a unified treatment of wh-phrases
in different sentence types. In feature-based theory, the class of wh-
phrases is divided into subclasses with distinct feature contents (in
addition to [+wh], [+relative] and [+exclamative]is needed) in order to
account for their varying behaviour and interpretation. Eden argues that
this redundancy could be avoided by assuming a unified representation for
all wh- phrases and deriving the differences in the behaviour of the
constituent questions, relatives and exclamatives from factors other than
the feature makeup of a wh-phrase. Three main factors are assumed to
determine sentence mood:

(i) verbal mood ,
(ii) the occupation of a specifier of a mood phrase, and
(iii) the occupation of a head of a mood phrase by a finite verb or a
complementizer.

Constituent questions constitute the basic mood of all wh-constructions,
which can be modified as a semantic object by means of embedding, lexical
items and intonation. The difference between an embedded question and a wh-
relative is argued to depend on the immediately dominating category:
embedded questions are dominated by a VP, while wh-relatives are dominated
by a lexically empty DP. The concept of extended partition lies at the
core of all wh-constructions, i.e. they all represent a range of
possibilities. The feature [+wh] is thus retained in order to trigger
obligatory wh-movement to the left periphery in German, but it becomes a
syntactic reflex of specific semantic representation of wh-phrases.

The paper by Werner Frey, ''Notes on the syntax and the pragmatics of
German Left Dislocation'', offers an analysis of German Left Dislocation
constructions, investigating both their syntactic and information-
structural properties. Frey first shows that one of the distinctive
properties that distinguishes German Left Dislocation (GLD) both from
English Left Dislocation constructions and from the German Hanging Topic
Left Dislocation (HTLD) is its behaviour with respect to the binding
phenomena: GLD shows binding effects, HTLD does not. Once this property
has been established as a criterion for unambiguously differentiating the
two constructions, Frey goes on to argue that GLD and HTLD differ in their
information- structural properties as well. Although standardly both
constructions were considered to be topic marking , Frey claims that this
is true for GLD only, after investigating the position that the resumptive
pronoun occupies in the two constructions. Regarding its discourse
properties, Bayer shows that GLDed phrase picks out a referent which is
already available in the discourse and it signals the shift of sentence
topic. GLD crucially differs in these properties from the HTLD and verb-
second clauses.

From the point of view of syntax, it is demonstrated that GLD shows
sensitivity to islands. After a brief critical discussion of the two
recent movement analysis, Frey argues for an approach where GLDed phrase
is base-generated in the position adjoined to the CP projection, from
which it dominates the base position of the RP. The adjunction approach is
called upon in order to avoid certain island violations. It took me quite
some time to work through the actual analysis though. The following
assumptions appear to be required:

(i) no islands can intervene between surface and base positions of the RP
and the dislocated phrase,
(ii) adjunction voids islandhood, and
(iii) GLD is basically a root phenomena and can only be adjoined to
complement clauses of certain class of verbs (bridge verbs).

Curiously, the last assumption which seems to be crucial in accounting for
virtually all examples in this section, is first brought up and explained
in a footnote (footnote 14), which we are referred to later. In my
opinion, the section would benefit a lot if this point is stressed early
on, and having a couple of labelled bracketing to illustrate the analysis
and the position of the constituents would also help. It would further be
nice to see how the binding effects are captured in more detail (they are
given one paragraph only), particularly when we have in mind that binding
phenomena constitute the main criteria for differentiating GLD from other
relevant constructions.

In their paper ''Inflectional morphology and sentence mood in German'',
Horst Lohnstein and Ursula Bredel argue for a theory in which the elements
of the verbal inflectional system and syntactic processes of phrasal and
head movement to the left periphery conspire to yield different sentence
moods in German. Looking at the inflection morphemes ''schwa'' and ''-t'' they
assign them an invariant core meaning intended to cover their various
uses. This meaning is then relativized with respect to various dimensions
of deictic interpretation; namely person, time and world. While the person
dimension is linked to the predication structure, time and world
dimensions (which determine tense and mood) are linked to the
propositional structure. Thus, in indicative present and if related to the
predication, ''schwa'' marks the speaker and ''-t'' some other individual. If
related to the proposition, the two markers are in complementary
distribution, discriminating indicative preterite (marked by ''-t'') and
subjunctive present (marked by ''schwa'') In subjunctive preterite the two
markers appear together. The assigned meanings are then used to derive
some general properties of different sentence moods. The syntactic
processes of head and phrasal movement to the functional projection M(ood)
P contribute to the determination of the sentence mood, together with the
information provided by the inflectional morphology. If the verbal mood is
ind pres/pret or sub pret, the occupation of the SpecMP by +/- wh-phrase
determines whether the resulting sentence mood will be a wh-question or a
declarative. We end up with a theory which derives sentence moods in a
strict compositional fashion.

The analysis is sound and well-presented, especially considering the
amount of theory they manage to squeeze into this article.

Uli Lutz's paper ''ET, parasitic gaps, and German clause structure'',
discusses properties of the construction known as emphatic topicalization
(ET),only found in southern German and its consequences for the left
periphery. The basic form of ET such as ''Den Hans, wann i derwisch!'' ('the
Hans, if I catch!') can also be integrated into the left periphery of a V2
main clause. Furthermore, it is possible to have a gap in both the
adverbial and the matrix clause, which is commonly analyzed as a parasitic
gap construction.

The paper starts with a descriptive overview of the properties of ET
constructions and their parasitic gap variants, illustrating that the two
constructions show a number of similarities, including the choice of the
complementizer and the categorial options regarding the dislocated
constituent. However, there are also important differences, such as

(i) only ET construction allows a variety of constituents to appear
between the adverbial clause and the verb in the second position,
(ii) the quantified DP takes scope over the matrix clause only in the
parasitic gap variant, and
(iii) apparently only ET construction is compatible with wh-clauses.

In the rest of the paper, Lutz discusses the consequences that the
analysis of these constructions has for the organization of the left
periphery in German verb-final clauses in terms of traditional topological
approaches, the standard generative analyses, as well as a Rizzi-style
view of the left periphery. He concludes that ET and its parasitic gap
variant require modifications of the usual assumptions regarding German
clause structure. For the ET construction, he assumes that an optional
discourse related feature of C ([et]-feature) needs to be checked by an
appropriate phrase in the specifier position, thus giving rise to
structure with multiple specifiers. On the other hand, the parasitic gap
variant is best analyzed with the real gap in the matrix clause, and the
parasitic one in the adverbial clause, a conclusion he reaches after
evaluating several alternative analyses. The resulting structure calls for
a re-evaluation of the standard assumption that only one constituent can
precede the verb in German V2 clauses.

The analysis is not without problems, and Lutz points to some of them
himself. However, since the aim of the paper was not to give a detailed
analysis of these constructions, but rather to discuss their properties,
and to ''evaluate some of its consequences for the structural organization
of the left periphery'' (p 265), we can disregard its shortcomings, and
admit that the paper does achieve its aim.

In his contribution, ''Verb position, verbal mood and the anchoring
(potential) of sentences'', Andre Meinunger takes a look at subordinate
clauses with verb-second in German. Meinunger starts by identifying
classes of predicates that allow for V2 in subordinate clauses. Drawing a
parallel between embedded V2 in German and the possibility of root
transformations in subordinate clauses in English, Meinunger claims that
the decisive factor is assertivity, i.e. root transformations (and thus
V2) are possible where the embedded sentence conveys an assertion.
Consequently verbs that easily introduce an assertion will allow for
embedded V2. A further correspondence is drawn between German and Romance
where Meinunger makes the claim that exactly those predicates and
grammatical phenomena that block V2 in German embedded clauses trigger
subjunctive mood in Romance. Assuming that clauses marked with subjunctive
mood introduce possible worlds and are thus not evaluated with respect to
the real world, they do not make any assertions about it either. The same
is true of verbs that ban embedded V2 in German, such as factive
predicates which are presuppositional, and thus cannot be asserted.
Therefore, the assertive character of the embedded proposition is taken to
be the key factor in allowing for V2 in subordinate clauses.

Meuninger further claims that embedded V2 clauses are interpreted as
complement clauses if they stay in their base position, or as an assertion
made by a speaker if they attach very higher in the structure, in which
case the interpretation of variables depends on the context. Semantically,
he postulates the existence of an ASSERT operator which syntactically
occupies the highest position in the sentence structure. An embedded V2
clause undergoes movement from its base position to the position where it
is in the immediate scope of the illocutionary operator, anchoring the
proposition to the actual world and the speaker. This gives rise to a
double-access reading where V2 clauses are interpreted first in their base
position, and secondly in the derived position where they license their
assertive illocutionary force. The paper is clearly written and presented,
and particularly interesting is the observed parallel between Germanic and
Romance.

In the next two papers we take a break from Germanic languages to look at
the left periphery of Romance and Slavic. The article by Hans-Georg
Obenauer, ''Non-standard wh-questions and alternative checkers in Pagotto'',
explores structural and interpretative properties of non-standard
questions in the North-Eastern Italian dialect Pagotto. The claim is that
non-standard questions should not be treated as non-canonical uses of
standard questions; rather UG makes available structural means for
distinguishing the two question types. In Pagotto standard questions, non-
bare wh- phrases move to sentence initial position, while bare wh- phrases
stay in-situ. The interesting property of non- standard questions then is
that their bare wh-phrases appear sentence-initially. Adopting a Rizzi-
style highly articulated structure of the left periphery,

Int(errog.)ForceP > G(round)P > Op(erator)P > Top(ic)P > IP

Obenauer argues that this happens because they target designated
functional layers on top of the InterForceP. Identifying three types of
non-standard questions, namely:

(i) surprise/disapproval questions,
(ii) rhetorical questions, and
(iii) ''I-can't-find-the-value-of-x'' questions,

Obenauer claims that in these cases wh-phrases move beyond IntForceP to
specifiers of SurprP, RhetP, and cfvP respectively. The specific
interpretative properties are associated with each functional projection,
and movement of a wh-phrase in non- standard questions has specific
semantic effects.

Obenauer also investigates the role of so-called ''alternative checkers''.
These semantically bleached, grammaticalized lexical elements can bear the
relevant features and thus take over the checking function of wh-
movement. Obenauer argues that such elements can be identified for each of
the non-standard interrogatives. The paper is carefully argued with the
data clearly set out.

Kerstin Schwabe focuses on Slavic clitic 'li' as a marker of
interrogativity and focusation in her contribution ''The particle li and
the left periphery of Slavic yes/no interrogatives''. Schwabe first embarks
on a difficult task of systematizing the various distributional properties
of the clitic 'li' in different Slavic languages. Two version of 'li' are
distinguished:

(i) V-li is associated with the verb,
(ii) XP-li is associated with the focused marked XP.

Within the framework of Rizzi's (1997) split C-domain, Schwabe argues that
in Russian and Serbian/Croatian 'li' is always generated in the head
projection of the ForceP and acts as a kind of complementizer. On the
other hand, in Bulgarian and Macedonian 'li' seems to act as a marker of a
clause type and is independent of ForceP. It is either adjoined to V, or
in case of XP-li, it is adjoined to the Foc-marked constituent and moves
up together with it to FocP. Different syntactic position for V-li in
Serbian/Croatian on the one hand, and Bulgarian and Macedonian on the
other, is motivated by the behaviour of non-finite verbs in polarity
questions; namely in Serbian/Croatian non-finite verbs cannot act as hosts
for the clitic. The syntactic analysis of polarity questions is followed
by semantic representation of interrogative and focus features.

Although I found it interesting that the difference in the ability of non-
finite verbs to host clitics was attributed to different syntactic
placement of 'li' rather than the ability of non-finite verbs to move high
enough in Serbian/Croatian (as for example, in the analysis of Boskovic
(2001) who gives evidence that non-finite verbs cannot raise to C-domain
in these languages), the actual implementation of this idea left me
somewhat confused. In Schwabe's analysis, the verb in fact moves as high
as possible, taking all the clitics along. Most of the work is then done
in the phonology where a number of operations and constraints interact to
yield a licit derivation. Two key processes are cliticization and
phonological inversion (PI), which places the clitic after the first
phonological boundary. Putting aside the problems that arise with PI which
are well known in the literature (see Boskovic 2001, Progovac 1996), it is
unclear to me how these two processes are ordered with respect to each
other in a way that would yield a desired output. In case of a finite verb
acting as a host, PI of 'li' precedes cliticization. When the verb is non-
finite, it is crucial that the verb first forms a clitic phrase with the
auxiliary clitic, after which the PI of 'li' cannot cannot cross thus
created two phonological boundaries and the derivation is ruled out. The
problems do not end here because 'li' can intervene between the full form
of the auxiliary or complementizer and the clitic cluster. The conclusion
is that cliticization must precede PI if there is an auxiliary clitic and
the potential host is a participle. ''This may be determined by
morphological means'' (p 405). I remain perplexed.

The paper by Arnim von Stechow, ''Binding by verbs: Tense, Person and Mood
under Attitudes'' analyzes certain temporal and modal phenomena in
constructions with verbs of attitude. Person, mood and tense are seen as
features of the verb which are checked by the corresponding arguments of
the verb, namely an individual, a world and a time variable. At Logical
Form (LF), the features of the variables are interpreted and non-
interpretable features are deleted. The central idea of the theory is that
features of semantically bound variables are deleted and therefore not
interpreted. For instance, in the following example, ''Only I did my
homework'', 'I' is interpreted as a variable with the interpretable feature
1st person. This feature is projected to the only-DP which being a
generalized quantifier binds the relevant variables, namely the trace
of 'I' and the variable corresponding to the possessive pronoun. As a
result of binding, these features are not interpreted which enables the
variables to range over the entire domain of individuals, a desired
outcome. The idea then is that verbs of attitude are quantifiers that bind
a person, a world and a time variable simultaneously, and in that way the
features of the bound variables get deleted. Temporal adverbs are taken to
be binders as well. They semantically bind the time argument of the verb
they modify.

The theory is then applied to a broad range of empirical phenomena, such
as the derivation of the sequence of tenses rules in English and Russian,
the behaviour of temporal adverbs, modals, as well as subjunctive in
German. The analysis is carefully elaborated, and the number of phenomena
it is applied to is really impressive.

The final paper, ''Complementizer selection and the properties of
complement clauses in German'' by Angelika Wollstein addresses the
difference between finite and non- finite complement clauses in German
with respect to the presence of lexical complementizers. The lack of
complementizer with non-finite clauses, Wollstein derives from the
referentiality of a clause. Verbal categories are argued to have
referential properties by default. Assuming that only referential
categories extend to functional projections, the verb extends to a single
projection, labelled FP. The principle of visibility ensures that the head
of the highest functional projection is made visible by moving a finite
verb to F-head or inserting a lexical complementizer. Non-finite
complement clauses do not have overt material in the left periphery, which
leads to the conclusion that they do not project the relevant functional
structure at all. Analysing the three types of infinitival forms in
German, namely the bare infinitive, the 'zu' infinitive, and the past
participle, Wollstein argues that the infinitival marker 'zu' is able to
block the referential properties of verbs. As a result, no functional
structure is projected, and consequently no position that would host a
lexical complementizer. Other infinitival forms can be referential and
thus can display certain root properties. The discussion is extended to
include the expression of sentence mood. Assuming that sentence mood is
specified in the left periphery, it is predicted that non- finite
complement clauses which cannot be functionally extended (i.e. zu-
infinitival clauses) are unspecified with respect to sentence mood.

GENERAL EVALUATION

Overall, this is an excellent volume. It reveals the challenges put before
us when trying to provide syntactic encoding and semantic representation
of certain discourse related phenomena. The various contributions do a
great job of bringing together the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic
aspects of the constructions in question. The theories and solutions
offered are at times very intricate, but they are certainly worth our time
and attention.

REFERENCES

Boskovic, Z. 2001. On the nature of the syntax-phonology interface:
Cliticization and related phenomena. Amsterdam: Elsavier Science.

Progovac, Lj. 1996. Clitics in Serbian/Croatian: Comp as the second
position. In A. Halpern and A. Zwicky (ed.) Approaching second: Second
position clitics and related phenomena. Stanford, California: CSLI, 411-
428.

Rizzi, L. 1997. The fine structure of the left periphery. In L. Haegeman
(ed.) Elements of Grammar: a handbook in generative syntax. Dordrecht:
Kluwer, 281-337
 
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Monika Basic has recently received an MA degree in English Linguistics
from the University of Tromsoe, Norway. Her thesis focused on issues
regarding CP/DP structure and certain constructions related to focus
assignment. Her research interests concern particularly syntactic theory,
movement, locality, as well as clausal and nominal functional
architecture.

Amazon Store: