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Review of  The Function of Function Words and Functional Categories

Reviewer: Phoevos E. Panagiotidis
Book Title: The Function of Function Words and Functional Categories
Book Author: Marcel den Dikken Christina M. Tortora
Publisher: John Benjamins
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Subject Language(s): Dutch
Language Family(ies): Germanic
Issue Number: 17.799

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Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 11:48:55 +0200
From: Phoevos Panagiotidis
Subject: The Function of Function Words and Functional Categories

EDITORS: den Dikken, Marcel; Tortora, Christina
TITLE: The Function of Function Words and Functional Categories
SERIES: Linguistik Aktuell / Linguistics Today
PUBLISHER: John Benjamins
YEAR: 2005

Phoevos Panagiotidis, Department of Humanities, Cyprus College


This book is a collection of eight original contributions (plus an
introduction by the editors) targeting graduate students of linguistics
as well as professional theoretical linguists. The nine chapters are as
follows (contributors in parentheses): The function of function words
and functional categories (M. den Dikken & C. Tortora), Verb second
as a function of Merge (J.-W. Zwart), Nonnative acquisition of verb
second: on the empirical underpinnings of universal L2 claims (U.
Bohnacker), Clause union and clause position (J. Bayer, T. Schmid &
M. Bader), Explaining Expl (M. Richards & T. Biberauer), Reflexives in
contexts of reduced valency: German vs. Dutch (M. Lekakou), Simple
Tense (G. Vanden Wyngaerd), Possessor licensing, definiteness and
case in Scandinavian (M. Julien), Pronouns are determiners after all
(D. Roehrs).

The Introduction (Dikken & Tortora) opens the volume providing
summaries and brief discussion of the chapters.

Zwart's ''Verb second as a function of Merge'' proposes a new
account for Verb Second (or 'V2'), i.e. the syntactic configuration in
which the finite verb occupies the second position in Germanic
languages. Zwart takes Merge to be an asymmetric operation that
creates sisterhood dependencies, dependencies that may be marked
by way of a linker element. Abandoning analyses proposing that V2 is
the result of the verb moving to adjoin to a particular functional head
(the Complementiser in most of them; the Complementiser or Tense in
others), he argues that V2 is the ''side effect of a fronting operation''
(p. 13) with the verb acting as the linker marking the left edge of the
constituent with which the fronted element merges. In order to
demonstrate that V2 does not involve some (quasi-)criterial attraction
of V to Comp (or T), he discusses a number of little-studied
problematic facts surrounding the configuration, including a number of
V2 asymmetries, non-standard V2 phenomena (such as quotative
inversion), as well as V2 deviations, i.e. cases of V1 and V3.

Bohnacker in ''Nonnative acquisition of verb second: on the empirical
underpinnings of universal L2 claims'' looks into Verb Second as well,
although from the point of view of Second Language (L2) Acquisition.
She sets out to disprove the hypothesis that the developmental path
to acquiring a V2 language is the same for all L2 learners ''irrespective
of their first language'' (p. 41). In doing so, she studies L1 Swedish
learners of L2 German in order to determine whether V2 transfer will
occur from Swedish to German - both languages solidly displaying the
V2 property. Like Zwart, she then discusses Swedish V2 deviations
typically resulting to V3, most of which are ungrammatical in German.
After a review of the relevant literature and presentation of her own
results, Bohnacker interprets the violation of German V2 by Swedish
L1 learners as an interference from L2 English, due to ''the absence of
nontarget V3 utterances in the learners who do not know English'' (p.

In ''Clause union and clausal position'', Bayer, Schmid & Bader study
an aspect of German complementation from both a cross-linguistic
and parsing point of view. They begin from the observation that
the ''intraposition'' construction in (1) is structurally ambiguous
between a monoclausal structure, i.e. one employing clause union,
and a biclausal one, the latter equivalent to (2):

daß Max mir das Lexicon zu kaufen empfohlen hat
that Max me the lexicon to buy recommended has
daß Max mir empfohlen hat das Lexicon zu kaufen
that Max me recommended has the lexicon to buy

They use a corpus study, questionnaires and a reading time
experiment to establish that, although the grammar of German allows
both the clause union and the biclausal analysis for (1), the
monoclausal structure is the one strongly preferred for it, due to
parsing considerations and in the face of (2) as a more readily
processable biclausal alternative. Moving on to Bangla, another OV
language with similar constructions, they observe an analogous state
of affairs. A syntactic analysis is offered in section 3 of the chapter.

Richards & Biberauer look at a paradoxical state of affairs, ''an
unexpected asymmetry'' (p. 117), in Chomsky's latest work on phase
theory, namely that expletives are predicted to be merged in the
specifiers of C and T but not v (his three core functional categories).
In their chapter titled ''Explaining Expl'', they first challenge the
received account of expletives such as 'there' in 'there is a crocodile in
the pool' as directly merged in the specifier of the Tense Phrase and
go on to adopt the less popular alternative that expletives move from
the specifier of vP, just like ordinary subjects. They provide synchronic
and diachronic empirical support towards this from a number of
Germanic languages while they relate the particular hypothesis to a
theory whereby the source of features satisfying EPP as well as the
size of the constituent they pied-pipe varies parametrically. The result
has the theoretically attractive characteristic of allowing the merger of
expletives only at the edges of (strong) phases: vP and CP.

''Reflexives in contexts of reduced valency: German vs. Dutch'' is a
study in micro-variation regarding the reflexive element 'sich'
(German) / 'zich' (Dutch). In it, M. Lekakou claims that the difference
between the two elements is that, while 'sich' can function as an
argument or as a non-argument valency reducer, 'zich' can only be a
proper argument. She correlates this difference to the richness of the
pronominal paradigms in the two languages, with the key lying with the
availability of a designated non-inherently reflexive element in Dutch,
namely 'zichzelf'. She consequently offers the beginnings of the
related typology, albeit staying within West Germanic varieties. With a
combination of discussing empirical evidence and arguing against
previous analysis that take 'zich' not to always be an argument, she
also links this difference between German and Dutch to the status of
middles in the two languages.

Vanden Wyngaerd offers in ''Simple tense'' a novel analysis of simple
tenses with emphasis on the English Simple Present. Departing from
the observation that Simple Present is compatible with only a number
of types of non-stative events, he offers the hypothesis that all these
events are unified under their having ''Very Short Duration'' (p. 194).
Consequently, Simple Present denotes an event whose interval ('E') is
a subset of the reference ('R') interval, which in turn is co-extensive
with the speech time one ('S'). Vanden Wyngaerd proceeds to
correlate that to aspectual considerations, as, clearly, this is not the
way simple tenses work in other languages; he then extends his
account to states and generics, arguing that they too are perceived as
involving successive intervals of Very Short Duration.

''Possessor licensing, definiteness and case in Scandinavian'' by M.
Julien offers an overview of possessors in the Scandinavian DP. The
chapter unifies the behaviour of possessors in Scandinavian varieties
by appealing to the interplay between the categories of n, Possessor
and Determiner, with the category n hosting a possessive feature
interpreted as definite. She unifies the behaviour of possessors with
the phenomenon of double definiteness in Scandinavian and, using
this framework of hypotheses, she investigates feature checking within
the Scandinavian DP. More specifically, Julien turns to the disjunction
between phi-completeness and Case assignment, as Scandinavian
pronominal possessors agree with the logical possessor for the former
but with the possessee for the latter (Case).

Finally, D. Roehrs in ''Pronouns are determiners after all'' focuses on a
matter that has received relatively little attention in the bibliography on
pronouns: whether the equivalent of configurations like ''us linguists''
are best analysed as a determiner pronoun complemented by a noun
or as an instance of apposition. Most of the investigations into the
matter have sided with the one or the other point of view without a
detailed look into the facts. Roehrs explores the behaviour and
agreement patterns of pronouns co-occurring with nouns in German
and goes on to argue for the first line of reasoning, what he calls
the ''General DP-Hypothesis'' (p. 252), and against apposition.


I enjoyed reading this exciting book as thoroughly as very few
collective volumes in recent years. To start with the basics, the solid
and firm hand of the two editors shows through the impeccable editing
throughout the book: from the selection of the papers included to the
impressive absence of formatting discrepancies and typos (I have
spotted only 'finladizes' on p. 174), unlike the customary situation with
joint volumes. Turning to the selection of the work included in the
volume, all eight chapters are of journal quality - generally perceived
as higher than 'ordinary volume quality' - and bear the hallmark of
having undergone scrupulous and meticulous editing, which makes
them readable, clear and coherent - to say the least. On top of this,
the topics included, the treatment thereof and the analyses put
forward by the individual authors are also of the highest quality; this is
the main reason I can open this review's evaluation section writing in
terms of 'The function of function words and functional categories'
being an ''exciting book''. Having said that, I feel I need to criticise one
editing decision before moving, and this has to do with the title.

I am afraid that the book's title, 'The function of function words and
functional categories', is hardly representative of its content as it
stands. More precisely, the perspective adopted by all authors except
Julien (who investigates the workings of nominal functional categories
in the Scandinavian DP) is hardly with functional categories and their
function in view. On the contrary, the majority of contributors
investigate aspects of Germanic syntax with an emphasis on
configurations and syntactic operations: Zwart looks at V2 as a
function of Merge, refuting the central role of any particular functional
category in it; Bohnacker investigates the L2 acquisition path of V2
oblivious to the possible role of any particular functional category;
Bayer, Schmid & Bader investigate mono- versus bi-clausal
intraposition in German and Bangla from a syntactic and a parsing
point of view; Richards & Biberauer look into the derivation of
expletive subjects in relation to phase theory; Lekakou zooms into the
reflexive SIG in its West Germanic incarnations; Vanden Wyngaerd is
concerned with the interpretation of simple tenses hardly mentioning
the category Tense; Roehrs looks into the phrase structure of single
pronouns. Therefore, I believe that a different equally attractive title
for the book would be more suitable, given the Germanic and
comparative focus of each one of the volume's contributions. On to
the chapters, now.

Zwart's analysis of V2 is interesting for at least two reasons. First of
all, it draws upon a wealth of previously overlooked evidence, mainly
from Dutch. It emerges that the reason such evidence has not been
closely studied until now is that it presents problems for analyses of
V2 where the verb targets a particular category: C in the 'symmetric
V2' analyses and C or T in the asymmetric ones.

This brings us to the second reason Zwart's contribution is of
considerable interest: his account does not involve the verb targeting
a particular category accompanied by material that must obligatorily
dislocate to its host's specifier. Before continuing, let me point out that
this coordinated migration of both the verb (via head movement) and
whatever can sit in the specifier to its left is one of the problematic
points in analysing V2 as a Complementiser (and / or Tense) related
operation, as it more or less presupposes all finite Complementisers
(to stay with symmetric V2 accounts) hosting some A'-related strong
feature. Zwart resolves the problem and broadens the empirical base
of the study of V2 (also capturing V2 asymmetries, non-standard V2
and V2 deviations) by claiming that Merge of x to y is an asymmetric
operation and that it establishes a dependency that may be marked
on the left edge of the y constituent by a linker element. In V2, the
fronted constituent, x, merged to the left of the one it has moved out
of, y, has this new Merge dependency marked by the verb acting as a
linker at the left edge of y. By this hypothesis, Zwart does not have to
make special reference to 'V2-dedicated' functional heads and their
potentially odd properties and does not have to attribute non-standard
V2 to hyperactive complementisers. However, his theory of Merge is
vast in scope and while it can explain away V2, it is certainly
necessary to be told what other grammatical phenomena it can
account for and what other elements must be (re)classified as
sisterhood-marking linkers, given the omnipresence of Merge in the
building of syntactic configurations.

Bohnacker's chapter opens ambitiously, as a contribution to refuting
the influential idea that L2 acquisition (of V2) follows a universal
developmental path irrespective of the properties of L1, i.e. whether it
is also a V2 language or not. Interestingly she discusses in some
detail a number of V2 exceptions in Swedish that are absent in
German. Hence, on a purely data level, this chapter, along with
Zwart's one preceding it, makes a good place to look for a description
of deviations from V2. The review of the existing literature on the
acquisition of German (V2) word order is detailed and sets the scene
for the study to be reported in an enlightening fashion, although the
tone in places feels somehow contrived (''certain linguistic circles'' on
p. 51) and even slightly unseemly (''acknowledged - though sometimes
grudgingly and in footnotes'' on p. 53). Crucially, the insight that L2
English (a non-V2 language) might influence, or even hinder, the
subsequent acquisition of ''L3'' German (as is the order people learn
languages these days) is both very interesting, to say the least, and
understudied. Understandably then, the author hardly supplies any
bibliography regarding L2 influence on ''L3'', although work like
Lozano (2002), contributions to Zobl & Goodluck (2003) and a
number of papers by Ingrid Leung - to name but a small selection -
concerns itself exclusively with this issue.

Turning to Bohnacker's carefully planned study itself, it indeed seems
to suggest that Swedish L1 learners of German have no serious
problems with German V2, unlike those previously exposed to English.
However the sample of just 3 Swedish L1 speakers who only speak
German, i.e. not English, is perhaps too small to draw any far-
reaching conclusions. Admittedly, finding Swedish native speakers
never exposed to English is virtually impossible (pp. 60-1) and the
situation is remedied by the straightforward nature of the research's
desideratum (that is, word order) and the satisfactory number of
utterances recorded. Still, I am intrigued by the mismatch between the
study's scope, as constrained by the general scarcity of evidence and
the small size of the corpus, and the conclusions it is called upon to
refute. In other words, the empirical study reported is important but not
of a scale adequate to provide far-reaching insights into the
acquisition of V2. Finally, the hindering role of English is presented as
a mystery and no suggestions are offered thereon, although it
becomes understood that this is due to the ongoing nature of the

''Clause union and clausal position'' by Bayer, Schmid & Bader brings
together research on a variety of plains (usage, parsing, grammar)
and a number of methods in order to explore the nature of intraposed
German clauses. They show that the parser's abhorrence of
intraposed biclausal structures - although grammar sanctions them - is
underscored not just by processing, early closure type, considerations
but also by the grammar-internal workings of agreement for a Status
feature and the role of null Complementisers. As I already said above,
this thesis is supported by a wealth of evidence from a variety of
sources. In this way, native speaker intuitions and statistical evidence
is cross-referenced and strengthened by experimental evidence. At
the same time, the comparison with Bangla puts the whole inquiry in
perspective, giving us the beginnings of an exciting account on how
the (universal) parser treats OV languages, with potentially far-
reaching implications for a variety of topics, including (but not
restricted to) language change and the limits of language variation.

My interpretation of Bayer, Schmid & Bader's results would be, for
instance, that intraposed biclausal structures - i.e. with the two verbs
adjacent - would be cross-linguistically dispreferred and, if extant,
diachronically short-lived. More generally, and commenting on the
methodology followed in the chapter: the coupling of a strong syntax-
theoretic analysis of a grammatical phenomenon with a parallel
investigation of its behaviour in parsing, acquisition, language change
or language pathology is a research strategy we need to see more
samples of; not only because it puts phenomena outside narrow
syntax into perspective and illuminates them in often unexpected
ways, but also because it can work the other way round, providing
indirect but invaluable evidence for (or against) a particular syntactic

''Explaining Expl'' is among the most carefully argued for analyses on
expletive subjects, a hot topic in theoretical syntax for at least the last
15 years due to its apparent simplicity, its sometimes inscrutable
complexity and its serious theoretical consequences once the (cross-
linguistic) details are considered. Richards & Biberauer essentially
provide a footnote to Chomsky's latest work on phases removing an
asymmetry from it, by showing that expletive subjects originate in
SpecvP and raise from there. In this way they resolve a number of
paradoxes involving Agree relations between the expletive, Tense and
the associate inherent in merging expletives directly with T (and its
complement). The resulting welcome symmetry, i.e. that expletives are
merged only at the only edges of phases, is corroborated by data in a
number of Germanic languages.

The analysis is embedded within a complete parametric account on
how the EPP can be satisfied across languages, which in turn
provides a very promising framework for further investigation into the
matter. Having said that, I have an observation to make on the
framework itself. Recall that Richards & Biberauer argue that EPP
satisfaction can vary across two parametric choices: the source of
features satisfying T - the richly inflected V (as in Alexiadou &
Anagnostopoulou 1998) vs. the SpecvP - and the size of the
constituent they pied-pipe (the whole vP or smaller). Based on this,
they are in a position to make the most probably correct prediction,
supported by diachronic data across Germanic, that loss of inflection
on V will force T to look for an EPP satisfier in SpecvP, therefore also
expletives themselves. They are however careful to notice (on p. 136)
that this is a one-way entailment and that expletives may exist in
grammars where the source of EPP features is the richly inflected verb
itself, as witnessed by both German and Icelandic. Setting aside the
serious questions of how null subjects come about in non-richly
inflected Chinese and Japanese, already an issue with Alexiadou &
Anagnostopoulou (1998), this leaves us with two serious questions:
first, why this co-existence of expletives and EPP satisfaction by the
inflected V should hold in German and Icelandic; second, how this
framework can capture the observed incompatibility of expletives with
null subjects.

Lekakou's meticulous treatment of the contrast between German 'sich'
and Dutch 'zich' is based on Reinhart & Reuland's (1993) theory of
reflexivity and links paradigmatic complexity to the kind of functions a
pronominal can undertake. So, Afrikaans and Frisian possess no SIG
element, hence personal pronouns will be restricted to argument
positions. The availability of only a simplex SIG reflexive, like
German 'sich', will add an element available for all reflexive uses, both
in transitive environments and as a valency reducer. An even richer
paradigm, possessing a simplex SIG reflexive as well as a complex
one, like Dutch 'zich' and 'zichzelf', will entail specialisation of each as
an inherent-argumental and a noninherent reflexive respectively -
while both will be fully argumental and non valency-reducers. In this
state of affairs, 'zelf' adds the possibility to choose from a set of
possible referents, hence involves focus. On the other hand, 'zich' will
always denote a singleton set (pp. 177-8), therefore it will be used
only when there are no alternatives possible (either because of the
verb's lexical specification or because of pragmatic considerations), as
in the contrast in (3) involving an inherently reflexive predicate (from
p. 176):

Zij gedraagt zich / *Karel
She behaves REFL / Karel
'She behaves herself.'

Although the whole analysis makes a lot of sense, I am left wondering
on two matters of some importance. First, it is not entirely clear
whether the -SELF element, claimed to be a kind of focus element
that ''opens'' the set of possible referents, can be argued to be such in
languages beyond the West Germanic sample of German and Dutch.
At this point, a comparison with -SELF as instantiated in English would
be certainly informative, especially if accompanied by a more concrete
theoretical description of its purported focus function. Second, and
given the importance the richness of reflexive paradigms plays in her
account, I would expect the author to stress more
the ''interchangeability'' of Dutch 'zichzelf' with transitive arguments - in
contrast to the behaviour of 'zich', illustrated in (3) above; even more
crucially, there is nothing at all in the paper on 'hemzelf / haarzelf' and
their position and role in the noninherent column of the Dutch
pronominal paradigm (p. 163) - especially in relation / contrast
with 'zichzelf'. This is, I think, a serious lacuna in the account, as is
presented in the chapter.

I found the analysis in Vanden Wyngaerd's chapter on simple
(present) tense attractive in its simplicity and explanatory power. It
makes a number of straightforward predictions stemming from the
claim that the denotation of simple tenses is an interval having Very
Short Duration, co-extensive with reference time (hence, speech time,
in the case of Simple Present). One of the most attractive predictions
is in the context of the usage of historical Simple Present in stories, as
opposed to using Present Continuous (p. 198):

(4) Magda refuses to let the police in. She closes the door in their face.
(5) Magda refuses to let the police in. She is closing the door in their

The ''sense of immediacy'' (ibid.) (4) conveys can be captured as a
result of using the simple tense, hence presenting the closing event as
having Very Short Duration, unlike what happens in (5), where the
closing event has ''a certain extension'' (ibid.). Similarly, Simple
Present is more appropriate for, say, presenting football matches in
their quick play-by-play succession than for rowing events (p. 194). In
section 4, Vanden Wyngaerd extends his account to cover states and
in section 5 to generic sentences -which are conceived as consisting
of successive intervals which last for a Very Short Duration. Given the
strongly counter-intuitive feel of this proposal, although this is by no
means an issue by itself, maybe it would have been necessary to
present it in more detail and to argue for it in more depth. As a closing
remark to this stimulating chapter, and given that the analysis in it
capitalises on the role of time intervals, let me just point out that I am
not sure it needs be framed in Reichenbachian terms - see, for
instance, von Stechow's (1995) criticism thereof - and it could perhaps
be the case that recasting it along the lines of work by Hans Kamp
and Barbara Partee would be a more productive path to take.

''Possessor licensing, definiteness and case in Scandinavian'' by
Julien scrutinises the workings of light n in Scandinavian and this
category's role in double definiteness, especially in relation to its
occurrence with possessors. The analysis unifies all the different
possessive constructions as instances of the interplay among DP's
functional categories and the ways this is conditioned by, among other
factors, Agree and defective intervention effects. Its clarity of
exposition and wide scope (over a number of varieties and a number
of related constructions) as well as its explanatory strengths place this
contribution among the most informative ones on the matter. At the
same time, it also looks into empirical matters such as the irrelevance
of focus to the fronting of possessors in Scandinavian and quasi-
possessive (or 'pseudopossessive', on p. 241-2) constructions. My
only comment regards extensions of the research presented here,
extensions certainly beyond the scope of both the chapter itself and
the volume as a whole: first, one would now like to see how Julien's
core assumptions about the interplay of agreement with Case
assignment would work in other languages beyond Scandinavian
where (pronominal) possessors agree with the possessed noun, such
as Romance (briefly mentioned in the context of a caveat on
possessors making their DPs definite on p. 243) or Classical Greek.
Second, it would be exciting to explore the relation of possession with
definiteness in languages with izafet (such as Turkish), which are a bit
like Armenian, also briefly touched upon on p. 225-6.

Research on the internal make-up of pronouns has flourished since
the wider acceptance of the DP hypothesis in the eighties. A
consensus on the functional shell of pronouns as D-elements of
various sizes (a thesis represented by Cardinaletti & Starke 1999 and
Déchaine & Wiltschko 2002) with an NP complement containing at
least a semantically (and phonologically) empty noun seems to have
been emerging. However, the long-standing debate on whether this
NP complement is indeed a complement of the pronominal D itself or
an appositive element, although contributed by several pieces of
evidence presented from each side, had remained without any
systematic treatment. Roehrs, using evidence from German, where
the combination options are richer than, say, in English, and
concentrating on the agreement properties of 'pronoun+nominal'
constructions makes a very strong case against the apposition
analysis and for the one I presented as the result of emerging
consensus at the beginning of this paragraph. More importantly
perhaps, this contribution fills in a specific gap in the literature, namely
the one regarding what kind of arguments can be appealed to when
making a case for or against a pronoun standing in complementation
relation with a D element - this being a matter of some importance, as
it goes beyond the confines of research into the internal structure of
pronouns. Although the chapter could certainly benefit from clearer
exposition in parts and stronger emphasis on both cross-linguistic
aspects of the problem and the basic findings of the research it
reports, it firmly sets the scene on what can be the criteria for deciding
on complementation versus ellipsis. In this respect, as well as in
establishing that complementation is the way to go in at least the case
of Germanic pronouns lies the value and interest of this contribution.


Alexiadou, Artemis & Elena Anagnostopoulou 1998. Parametrizing
Agr: word order, V-movement and EPP-checking. Natural Language
and Linguistic Theory 16: 491-539.

Cardinaletti, Anna & Starke, Michal. 1999. The typology of structural
deficiency: a case study of the three classes of pronouns. In H. van
Riemsdijk (ed.) Clitics in the languages of Europe. Berlin: Mouton De
Gruyter. 273-290.

Déchaine, Rose-Marie & Wiltschko, Martina. 2002. Decomposing
pronouns. Linguistic Inquiry 33: 409-442.

Lozano-Pozo, Cristóbal. 2002. Focus, Pronouns and Word Order in
the Acquisition of L2 and L3 Spanish. Ph.D. thesis, University of Essex.

Reinhart, Tanya & Reuland, Eric. 1993. Reflexivity. Linguistic Inquiry
24: 657-720.

Stechow, Arnim von. 1995. On the Proper Treatment of Tense.
Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory V. Ithaca NY: CLC
Publications, Cornell University, 362-386.

Zobl, Helmut & Helen Goodluck (eds.) 2003. Proceedings of the 6th
Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference
(GASLA 2002): L2 Links. Somerville MA: Cascadilla Press.

Phoevos Panagiotidis is Chair of Humanities and Assistant Professor
of Linguistics in Cyprus College, Cyprus. He is the author of the
monograph titled "Pronouns, Clitics and Empty Nouns" (2002:
Benjamins). He has also published articles in international journals
(Lingua, NLLT, Linguistic Inquiry) and in jointly authored volumes on
pronouns, the properties of Determiner Phrases as well as the status
of arguments in null subject languages. Besides the above, his
research interests include the nature of grammatical categories,
language acquisition and breakdown, as well as the structure of
English, Greek and the languages of the Balkan Sprachbund.