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EDITORS: Martin Everaert & Henk van Riemsdjik TITLE: The Blackwell Companion to Syntax (Volumes I-V) PUBLISHER: Blackwell publishing Ltd (Oxford) ISBN: 13:9-781-4051-1485-1 YEAR: 2006
Reviewer for (Vol. III-V): Ahmad R. Lotfi, Azad University (Iran)
The Blackwell Companion to Syntax (Vol. I-V), henceforth the BCS, is a collection of 77 articles by some leading figures in generative studies of syntax. The articles, or 'chapters' as the editors prefer to call them, appear here for the first time, and cover a rich variety of topics researched throughout the past 40 years. The chapters are arranged in alphabetical order, and range between 11 and 120 pages in length each. Together with Consolidated References and the index to all volumes, the BCS amounts to more than 3500 pages. There is also an accompanying CD-ROM containing a searchable electronic version of the entire BCS. The digital version is compatible with both PC and Mac computers.
A major concern of the generative theorist in the past 40 years or so has been the systematic unraveling of the whole theory in order to attain higher levels of theoretical and/or empirical adequacy. As a result of this, analyses and generalisations once assumed to be crucially important to the dominant theory of the time may have suddenly faded into the background. There are times we learn with surprise that some otherwise well-informed students of ours are only vaguely familiar with what as students of linguistics we considered indispensable. Current handbooks are primarily concerned with current theorizing rather than the background research behind it. Given the significance of research continuity in sciences, the editors hope the BCS will help to fill in the gap between the past and present of research on syntax. With this in mind, the authors offer historically contextualised analyses of their topics, and show how they relate to our current understanding of syntactic phenomena.
In what follows, I focus on the last 40 chapters of the BCS (Vol. III-V). In addition to chapter summaries, each article is briefly evaluated in such terms as its theoretical orientation, the empirical coverage, the author's style of writing, and the editorial scheme of the Companion.
CHAPTER SUMMARY & EVALUATION (Volumes III-V)
Chapter 38: Logophoricity (pp. 1-20)
In this chapter, Eric Reuland is concerned with logophors as forms bound in one environment but free in another. Reuland's chapter is primarily theoretical as he focuses on Clements's (1975) and Sell's (1987) theories of logophoricity according to which in languages with a special system for reflecting event orientation, e.g. Niger-Congo, logophors are systematically used for expressing such roles as SOURCE (the intentional agent in a communication), SELF (the person whose mental state or attitude is described by the proposition), or PIVOT (one with respect to whose location the proposition is evaluated). Logophoricity is the use of the pronominal system for keeping track of either of these roles throughout the discourse. Reuland's treatment of the topic is deep and thorough. However, his study is confined to the Clements/Sells approach to logophoricity, which is too narrow in perspective once compared with the BCS editors' scheme.
Chapter 39: Long-Distance Binding in Asian Languages (pp. 21-84)
Peter Cole, Gabriella Hermon, and C.-T. James Huang investigate long-distance reflexives in Chinese. Data from Malay, Kannada, Mupun, and even some European languages like Dutch are also added to shed further light on the typological properties of such reflexives. Such properties apparently include monomorphemicity, subject antecedents, and specific domains for the occurrence of both antecedents and reflexives. The role of discourse in licensing such reflexives is subject to considerable variation across different languages. A variety of theoretical analyses are reviewed extensively including those of parameterization of the binding domain, cyclical re-indexing, and movement. The authors conclude the chapter with a word on the question of economy and long-distance binding. The chapter is an extensive but still coherent account of the topic. It remains accessible to the average reader throughout the text. However, it is less focused than what the title suggests.
Chapter 40: Long-Distance Binding in Germanic Languages (pp. 85-108)
Although Eric Reuland's introduction of the topic (variation in LD-binding in Germanic) is quite detailed, the treatment proves to be relatively superficial. Rueland incorporates data on the use of anaphors from English, Icelandic, Faeroese, Mainland Scandinavian, Dutch, German, Frisian and Yiddish. The variation is then captured in terms of Koster's (1985), and Manzini and Wexler's (1987) parameterisation approach, Everaert's (1986) representational theory of anaphoric dependencies, Lebeuax's (1983) and Chomsky's (1986) LF-movement approach to binding. The author concludes the chapter with a brief discussion of LD-binding and minimalist accounts of language. The chapter's organisation fails to relate these different analyses of the topic coherently. As such, it turns into a list of different accounts of LD-binding mainly proposed in the eighties.
Chapter 41: Long NP-Movement (pp. 109-130)
In this chapter, Howard Lasnik and Cedric Boeckx offer a theoretically and empirically adequate review of long NP-movement phenomena as understood in transformational, P&P and minimalist terms. The data mainly come from English with some sporadic examples from Italian, Scandinavian and Chinese. Superraising, Subjacency, ECP, Relativised Minimiality, economy, equi-distance, feature movement and Agree are among the most significant components of this review. Contrary to many works by these two authors, the chapter is stylistically available to the average reader, which is even further improved by a coherent and focused organisation of the chapter.
Chapter 42: Middles (pp. 131-203)
Peter Ackema and Maaike Schoorlemmer investigate the properties of so-called middle constructions. They recognise the difficulty inherent in distinguishing middles from a number of related sentence types such as passives, inchoatives and true reflexives. For them, true middles are characterised with (a) the impossibility of expressing the external argument of a middle verb as a regular DP, (b) the subject of the middle sentence carrying the role of its direct internal argument, and (c) the middle verb being stative, non-episodic. As an example, one could mention such sentences as ''Dit boek leest als een trein'' (lit. this-book-reads-like-a-train, i.e. 'this book is very easy to read') in Dutch. The authors contrast middles even with the middle voice serving to express that the subject is acting on herself/himself (e.g. ''David was shaving'') given the properties outlined above. Reviewing a variety of analyses of the different types of middle constructions, Ackema and Schoorlemmer conclude that the construction is a semantic type with different languages varying drastically in the syntactic devices they employ to express it. The chapter is written in a textbook style, which makes it rather easy to follow even with no familiarity with the relevant literature on the topic. The chapter seems to be primarily meant to popularise the topic rather than bring it back into focus, as the BCS is intended to do. As a matter of fact, I doubt the topic has ever been much in foreground.
Chapter 43: Mittlefeld Phenomena (Scrambling in Germanic) (pp. 204-274)
Hubert Haider begins the chapter with the definition of the theory-neutral notion Mittlefeld ('midfield') as that segment of a (Germanic) clause that includes ''everything between C-0 on the left and the verbs on the right (p. 206).'' It doesn't correspond to any constituent, and its exact mapping varies with the theoretical model chosen. Then Haider compares the MF in OV and VO languages. This leads to the heart of the chapter where such MF phenomena as scrambling, expletive/non-expletive subjacency, the order of fronting pronouns, empty MF, etc. are investigated. He shows that scrambling is more than free base-ordering in a language with morphologically identifiable grammatical functions as it is only OV languages (like German, Hindi and Japanese) that scramble. This is also supported by the fact that in a language like German with mixed headedness, it does not scramble in head-initial NPs and PPs but in head-final VPs and APs. The author's treatment of the topic is empirically rich and theoretically comprehensive. Careful and clear writing and coherent organisation of the chapter are extra assets.
Chapter 44: Multiple-Wh-Questions (pp. 275-326)
Veneeta Dayal's review of research into multiple Wh-questions begins with wh-expressions as diagnostics of scope although they differ from quantified expressions in interpretation. With regard to multiple wh-questions, Dayal classifies languages as (a) non-fronting languages (they are either like Chinese and Japanese in that all wh-expressions remain in situ or like English with one of the wh-expressions moved to the left periphery and others kept in situ), (b) multiple-fronting languages like Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian with ALL wh-expressions moving to peripheral positions, and (c) languages without multiple wh-questions like Italian and Irish. The chapter also deals with the question of typological variation in superiority effects, and the different analyses (P&P accounts, economy-bases ones, and those based upon functional wh) proposed for explaining superiority phenomena. The chapter is a thorough investigation of the topic mainly within the framework of the P&P Model. It fails to cover the bulk of minimalist studies of the topic (see Boeckx and Grohmann's 2003 for minimalist accounts of the phenomena).
Chapter 45: N-Words and Negative Concord (pp. 327-391)
Anastasia Giannakidou discusses the semantic and syntactic properties of what Laka (1990) termed n-words, i.e. nominal and adverbial constituents occurring in negative concord (NC) structures and can provide a negative fragment answer like 'niente' (Italian), 'res' (Catalan), and 'nanimo' (Japanese). English 'any' is an existential polarity item rather than an n-word as it cannot provide a fragment answer to a question like 'what did John say?' Based on the distinction between strict and non-strict NC, the author provides a typology of n-words in Romance, Slavic, Greek and Hungarian. N-words in strict NC do not contribute an existential quantifier independently of negation. She concludes that ''n-words do not form a semantically uniform class across languages (p. 366).'' Finally, she provides a number of diagnostics for existential, universal and negative n-words. The chapter provides guidelines to incorporate discussions indifferent generative models including the MP (checking theory). The style and organisation of the chapter is in perfect harmony with the editorial purposes behind the development of the BCS.
Chapter 46: Object Shift (pp. 392-436)
Stein Vikner's chapter is an investigation of object shift (OS) in Scandinavian languages. The author provides a description of the OS phenomena in Icelandic and Danish, and then compares them with scrambling in German. This is followed by a review of GB- and minimalist approaches to the study of OS: (a) case as the key to OS, (b) equidistance as the key to OS, and (c) focus and interpretation as the key to OS. Vikner's formulation of OS in terms of case-assignment is rather confusing: ''Object shift is possible only if the case-assigning verb leaves VP because only then is the case-assigned DP assigned case by a trace which again means that only then is it possible for this DP not to be assigned case and therefore to move into a case position higher up in the clause (p. 416).'' Definitely, Vikner does not want a 'case-assigned DP' to be assigned a case a second time. Moreover, the analysis is not falsifiable as case assignment by trace is supposed to be optional. Once elaborating on equidistance as the key to object shift , Vikner writes: ''If the verb would not move, [VP, Spec] and [AgrOP, Spec] would not belong to the same minimal domain and they would therefore not be equidistant, and so the object could not leave its base position (p. 420).'' This is still formulated in the spirit of Move alpha in GB as it does not explain why alpha (here the shifted object) should move at all even if minimality is not violated.
Chapter 47: Partial Wh-Movement (pp. 437-492)
In this chapter, Gisbert Fanselow is concerned with partial Wh-movement (PM) in German. The term PM is understood as the movement of a Wh-expression to a position structurally lower than the position to which it 'ought' to move. Descriptive generalisations are followed by a review of four major theoretical analyses of the phenomena in question: (a) the scope-marking analysis (von Stechow & Sternefeld 1988, Muller 1997, Beck & Berman 2000), (b) the feature-movement analysis (Hiemstra 1986, Cheng 2000), (c) the indirect-dependency approaches: argumental WHAT (Davison 1984, Mahajan 1990), and (d) the indirect-dependency approaches: expletive WHAT (Mahajan 1996,Horvarth 1997). Examples from a number of other languages such as Arabic and Hindi are also analysed to lend further support to the theoretical and empirical analyses of PM in German.
Adriana Belletti's chapter focuses on past participle agreement (the nodeAgrPstPrtP) in Romance languages (French v. Italian). She argues that the object clitic projection in its movement to its landing site in the upper part of the clause passes through Spec of AgrPstPrtP and triggers agreement. This analysis is supported by the absence of agreement between the past participle and the subject of intransitive/unergative and transitive verbs: Only arguments in the lowest level of VP (typically the direct object) are involved in past participle agreement. This can explain why past participles agreement co-occurs VPs with no external argument, e.g. unaccusative and passive constructions. As Agr nodes were first designated under GB, and then dispensed with in the MP, the chapter proves to be rather limited in historical perspective.
Chapter 49: Phrasal Stress and Syntax (pp. 522-568)
Maria Luisa Zubizarreta and Jean-Roger Vergnaud's contribution is a selective review of the generative literature on the correlation between prosodic prominence and information structure (in Germanic, Bengali, and Romance). The prominence is captured in terms of informational focus structure of the sentence with focus understood as the non-presupposed part of the sentence. In addition to the classical view (the Nuclear Stress Rule-based account by Chomsky 1971 and Jackendoff 1972), Cinque's (1993) revised theory of NSR and Zubizarreta's (1998) version are reviewed briefly. Concerning the question of where the NSR applies, the authors conclude that ''prosodic information (such as prosodic boundaries and main prominence)must be present at the stage in the derivation where LF is constructed (p. 548).'' For Zubizarreta's (1998) version of the standard model it is at the level of S-structure that prosodic information is incorporated. With SS dispended with in the MP, however, it is difficult to relate PF and LF as such. For a different perspective, the reader may refer to Lotfi's (2006) formulation of his SPF as an alternative to SS.
Chapter 50: Pied-Piping (pp. 569-630)
Julia Horvath studies pied-piping phenomena in Germanic (esp. in English) in reference to a historical background of earlier generative accounts (Ross 1986, from his 1967 dissertation), analyses within the P&P framework of the 80s, and those with a minimalist perspective in the 90s and onwards. The analysis Horvath seems to support is a minimalist one in which heads project features, and checking attracts either the head itself or the whole phrasal projection with the non-head material 'pied-piped' to it. The chapter ranks high in style and organisation. It nicely summarises the major theoretical trends of the past 40 years in the analysis of pied-piping phenomena.
Chapter 51: Preposition Stranding (pp. 631-684)
Paul Law reviews three major analyses of P-stranding in Germanic and Romance, namely reanalysis (a Case-theoretic approach by Hornstein and Weinberg 1981 according to which '[t]he (apparent) object of the preposition ... is in fact an object of the reanalyzed verb, and the wh-phrase object of these reanalyzed verbs may now be extracted since it is no longer governed and Case-marked with a [+oblique] Case by P after reanalysis ...' p. 638), government-theoretic accounts (Kayne 1984, Bennis & Hoekstra 1984) and syntactic D-to-P-incorporation (Law 1998, Van Riemsdijk 1998) with P coalescing with the following D into a suppletive form. ''[T]he lack of P-stranding may be considered tube a consequence of P not being separable from the following D (p. 647).'' Although the incorporation analysis is theoretically interesting, it seems to predict that (a) a language with such suppletive forms must NOT allow P-stranding, and (b) a language permitting P-stranding must NOT have such forms. It is still unclear how far these predictions will be borne out.
Chapter 52: Properties of VOS Languages (685-720)
Sandra Chung observes that while VOS is possible, though uncommon, as the dominant pragmatically neutral order in a language, OVS and OSV are rare or non-existent. For Kayne (1994), the simplest possible clause structure is SVO. Any other order should have been driven via movement. Then VOS is the result of VP raising. The author reviews the evidence proposed for VP raising in Malagasy and Seediq. She also focuses on the motivation for such a raising in terms of EPP-feature checking. However, she shows that there are languages such as Tzotzil and Chamorro whose syntactic profile deviates from that of languages with verb-initial clauses derived by VP rising. Chung concludes that ''there are multiple syntactic routes to VOS-hood ... (p. 713).'' The chapter is rich in its coverage of both theoretical and empirical issues. It is also characterised with good style and coherent organisation.
Katlin E. Kiss's chapter is a summary of the treatment of quantifier scope ambiguities in a number of generative theories including early generative analyses of the topic (referring scope interpretation of scope to surface structure in EST and REST), May's (1977, 1985) accounts of scope ambiguity in terms of Q-raising, Fodor and Sag's (1982) analysis of the phenomena as lexical (rather than scope) ambiguity, a minimalist approach to scope ambiguities (Hornstein's theory of Q-raising via A-movement motivated by morphological feature checking), Fox's (1995) theory of scope interpretation constrained by economy, Beghelli & Stowell's (1997) typology of QPs in line with Liu's (1990) theory that scope possibilities depend on the type of the quantifier, Kayne's (1998) theory of overt quantifier movement, and Erteschnik-Shir's theory of focus structure. The language employed to summarise some less familiar works is sometimes obscure. There are also some rare examples of mistakes/typos (such as 'metafor' on page 29, and 'usually-clause bound' on page 32) in need of editorial work.
Chapter 54: Reconstruction, Binding, and Scope (pp. 35-93)
Dominique Sportiche focuses on reconstruction phenomena in English. The chapter is a review of descriptions, generalisations, and explanations for such phenomena. The evidence of binding and scope suggests that reconstruction for movement is into traces. Moreover, it applies for both A- and A-bar types of movement. As far as binding principles are concerned, reconstruction is not uniform: reconstruction for Condition A is possible but not required. For Condition C, on the other hand, there are times reconstruction is obligatory, but there are also times it is optional. For Sportiche, LF is the level of representation where reconstruction takes place. Considering movement as a process of copying, the author concludes that ''[e]ither or both copies can be determined at LF (p. 85).'' The scope of an XP, however, is interpreted in the position of the highest copy interpreted. Although the review of the analyses proposed under P&P and early MP approaches is deep and thorough, Sportiche does not refer to more recent analyses of relevance like one in terms of Chomsky's phase theory. The chapter is reader-friendly in language and self-contained in content. An informal introduction to the subject matter is especially helpful in this respect.
Chapter 55: Resumption (pp. 94-117)
James McCloskey investigates resumptive pronouns--obligatorily bound pronominal elements appearing in positions that are empty under other circumstances--in English and Irish (among other languages touched here such as Arabic). The chapter is a review of major works on resumption done between 1972 and 2001 by Morgan (1972), Perlmutter (1972), Bresnan & Grimshaw (1978), McCloskey (1979, 1990), Sells (1984), Engdahl (1985), Aoun & Choueiri (1996, 2000) and Aoun et al. (2001). It is also concerned with the properties of resumption, and resumption and movement: It is intended to critically review the analyses of resumptive pronouns focusing on either of these two questions: (a) To what extent do resumptive pronouns share features of other classes of pronouns? (b) How far does the relation between a resumptive pronoun and its binder share the properties of movement? It emerges from the review of these analyses is that 'true resumptive pronouns' appear inside islands, and show no reconstruction effects. 'Apparent resumptive pronouns', on the other hand, are not trapped inside islands, and exhibit reconstruction effects.
Chapter 56: The SE-Anaphor and its Role in Argument Realization (pp. 118-179)
Carmen Dobrovie-Sorin reviews the empirical observations made in the 80s and 90s with regard to SE-anaphors (reflexive-reciprocal clitics like 'se' in French, Spanish and Romanis, or 'si' in Italian), types of SE (accusative, dative, and nominates SEs), and SE-verbs and the representation of agentivity. Cinque's (1988) analysis of two types of nominative SE in Italian, and Dobrovie-Sorin's (1998) analysis of nominative clitics and agreement features, and that of middle-passive SE in control infinitivals come next. Despite this, the chapter is primarily concerned with descriptive generalisations rather than explanations.
Chapter 57: Secondary Predicates in Australian Languages (pp. 180-208)
For Eva Schultze-Berndt, secondary predication is a label for a wide range of construction types including lexical nominal expressions, 'part' expressions, and adjunct. The author begins with a brief review of Australian languages. These languages are not homogeneous either in terms of genetic relationships or their typological characteristics. However, there is a genetic division of Australian languages into Pama-Nyungan (PN) and Non-Pama-Nyungan (NPN) families. While most Australian languages are agglutinating, some NPN languages are non-configurational. She then turns to morphological and syntactic properties of depictive secondary predicates in Australian. An account of depictives vs. adverbials brings the chapter to an end. As far as the style of writing is concerned, the chapter may prove to be difficult to follow for less experienced readers unless Rothstein's chapter (pp. 209-233) is thoroughly studied first.
Chapter 58: Secondary Predication (pp. 209-233) Susan Rothstein focuses on two kinds of secondary predicates in English, namely, depictive predicates (in 'John-i drove the car drunk-i') and resultatives (in 'Jane painted the house-i red-i').The chapter is a review of semantic and syntactic approaches to the study of the topic including Dowty's [phi CAUSE psi] analysis, GB analyses of depictives and resultatives as secondary predicates, and more recent developments in the study of the phenomena with SP as an operation of predicate conjunction. With regard to the style and organisation of the chapter, it is self-contained, brief, coherent, and easy to follow. Moreover, it fully conforms to the editors' general plan for the BCS. Rothstein's subsection on 'recent developments', however, is too brief (less than 2 pages).
Chapter 59: Serial Verbs (234-270)
Pieter Muysken and Tonjes Veenstra are concerned with description and classification of verb serialisation, a construction in which a sequence of juxtaposed verbs syntactically express a single semantic clause with no use made of overt coordinating conjunctions. Their examples mainly come from Saramaccan an English-based creole language spoken in Suriname. Serial verbs share the following properties, according to Muysken and Veenstra: ''(a) only one grammatical subject, (b) at most one grammatical object, (c) one specification for tense/aspect ..., (d) only one possible negator, (e) no intervening coordinating conjunction, (f) no intervening subordinating conjunction, (g) no intervening pause (p. 238).'' The authors explore two typological factors, namely, (1) independence of the subevents, and (2) freedom of lexical selection, giving rise to four logically possible types of serial verb construction. They also deal with the hierarchical relations between NP arguments in a serial verb construction, the concatenation principles of subordination, adjunction, and coordination, argument sharing in such constructions, and the typological correlates of serial verbs. The focus of the chapter is on description and generalisation rather than explanation and analysis. It fails to organically relate to any major generative theory of syntax. The construction is not elevated above the margins of the theory of syntax.
Chapter 60: Sluicing (pp. 271-291)
In Jason Merchant's chapter on sluicing (defined as ellipsis phenomena with only a wh-phrase remnant left behind after eliding the whole sentence, e.g. 'what' in 'Jack bought something, but I don't know what'), we read about movement and non-movement approaches to sluicing, empirical support for either approach from a wide variety of languages, and puzzles and problems inherent in either analysis. The chapter is well-written, easy to follow, coherent, and quite convenient in length. Merchant rightly emphasises that sluicing ''is at the intersection of two of the best studied ... areas of generative approach research, namely ellipsis and wh-movement (p. 272).'' however, one may wonder why Merchant makes no single reference to the latest developments made with regard to these two areas of study in minimalist syntax.
Chapter 61: Specificational Copular Sentences and Pseudoclefts (pp. 292-409)
According to Marcel Den Dikken, specificational copular sentences are a subtype of copular sentences of the general format of XP be YP [where YP is not a participial VP] where XP=CP/NP and YP=VP, e.g. in 'what they did was lose the game', or, on the other hand, XP=VP and YP=CP/NP as in 'lose the game is what they did'. In a sentence like 'his supper is food for the dog' (Akmajian 1979), the NP 'food for the dog' is understood specificationally if the NP is referential, i.e. the sentence is understood as saying 'he eats food for the dog for his supper'. And if the NP is non-referential, it will be understood as 'his supper serves as food for the dog', which is termed predicational. Non-specificational copular sentences are pseudoclefts if the construction involves the extraction of non-focused constituents and preceding them by a wh-item. Apparently, it is only for the specificational reading of the sentence that XP and YP can change places with no change in meaning, as in 'food for the dog is his supper'. Den Dikken also reviews more fine-grained typologies for copular sentences such as those proposed by Higgins (1979) and Declerck (1988). The chapter covers a good number of items related to the topic. It is well-written in style, very detailed, and perhaps a little long as a single chapter in the BCS. However, it remains a summary (rather than a critical review) of major analyses of the topic with no explicit conclusion drawn. As such, the chapter is a bit too long but still incomplete!
Chapter 62: Split Topicalization (pp. 410-465)
Hanneke Van Hoof approaches ST as a special kind of topicalisation in which ''a constituent's core is extracted to the pre-field while leaving its non-core behind in the middle-field of the clause (p. 411).'' The ST phenomena are most extensively investigated with regard to Split NP Topicalisation (SNPT) and Split VP Topicalisation (SVPT) in German, which Van Hoof describes and analyses in detail in this chapter. A subsection of 7 pages, however, is devoted to reviewing research on the related phenomena in other languages including Modern Greek, Slavic and Chinese. Van Hoof examines the syntactic properties and analyses of SNPT and SVPT at considerable length. Also different landing sites for ST are investigated thoroughly and in reference to scrambling, contrastive left dislocation and topicalisation. However, little is said on the differences (if there are any, according to Van Hoof) between scrambling and topicalisation. The author seems to reduce cross-linguistic differences with respect to SNPT to parameterisation (p. 452) while other possible sources of difference (such as lexical, morphological, and even phonological properties of NPs in different languages) are conceivable, too. Van Hoof questions the validity of the suggestion made (among others) by den Besten and Webelhuth (1990) according to which ST correlates with the availability of scrambling: ''[A]lthough both German and Dutch are Scrambling languages that allow for SVPT, not all varieties of these languages have SNPT as well (p. 452).'' The argument sounds imperfect as it is still possible for scrambling to be a necessary though insufficient condition for SNPT to take place.
Chapter 63: The Spray-Load Alternation (pp. 466-478)
Maya Arad's chapter deals with the locative alternation for such verbs as 'spray' and 'load', which appear in two different syntactic structures with either of their internal arguments as the direct object, and the other as a goal or a locatum, e.g. 'Lucy sprayed the paint on the well' or 'Lucy sprayed the wall with paint'. Arad reviews three types of analyses of the topic, namely, Levin and Rappaport's (1988) theory of thematic roles, Tenny's (1987) Aspectual Interface Hypothesis, and Borer's (1994) economy-based syntactic analysis of the phenomenon. As a very specific case study, Arad's chapter investigates the relation between the syntax and lexical semantics of this class of verbs rather briefly. The study does not get into the depth of either of the theoretical analyses reviewed, and is not empirically rich either.
Chapter 64: Strong vs. Weak Islands (pp. 479-531)
Beginning with Ross's (1967) distinction between left dislocation and 'chopping' (the former leaves a pro-form behind while the latter doesn't), Anna Szabolcsi identifies strong islands as those from which no extraction is allowed. For weak islands (WI), on the other hand, ''some phrases can extract, others cannot (p. 480).'' She provides a classical list of strong islands including complex DP with relative clause, complex DP with complement clause, definites, subjects, adjuncts, coordinate structures, tensed constituent wh-complements, and left branches. More recent literature is also explored in detail to describe the full set of WIs including arguments, referentials, negative polarity items, etc. Two dimensions A (what extractions are sensitive to WIs?) and B (what contexts constitute weak island?) are explored in this respect. Finally, the relevant theories--ECP, Subjacency, Relativized Minimality, Monotonicity, and the Scope Theory--are reviewed in reference to the specific phenomena classified under A or B. The chapter is not always easy to read due to the nature of the topic under study, which is deeply embedded in generative theories of syntax.
Chapter 65: Stylistic Fronting (pp. 532-565)
Anders Holmberg investigates stylistic fronting in Icelandic, Faroese, and Old Scandinavian. The phenomenon consists of moving a category to the initial position of finite sentences with a subject gap. He reviews a number of analyses of the phenomenon developed between 1980 and 2000 such as Maling's (1980), and Maling and Zaene's (1990) distinction between topicalisation and SF, characterisation of the context of SF, accessibility hierarchy, and partial complementary distribution of SF and the expletive pronoun, Jonsson's (1991) analysis of SF as head movement vs. SF as XP-movement, and Holmberg's (2000) account of SF as expletive movement. Holmberg concludes that ''all SF is movement to Spec, IP ...(and seriously considers) the possibility that all of the categories moved by SF are, in fact, phrasal, but that some of them consist of nothing but a head (p. 554).'' As a result, he rejects the head movement analysis of SF, and proposes that ''SF is triggered by a condition that Spec, IP must be overtly filled,'' which he formalises as ''a feature [P] in I ... taken to be one half of the Extended Projection Principle (p. 549).'' Holmberg's analysis, however, doesn't get into the ontological status of things as, for instance, it is not clear why language must have such features as [P] and [D] in the first place.
Chapter 66: Subextraction (pp. 567-600)
Norbert Corver's chapter deals with subextraction, which is extracting the direct object noun phrase (as in 'this car I believe [that you really like --]') from within the embedded clause. The author notices that it is the entire NP that is fronted so that the sentence '*this I really like[--car]' is ungrammatical. The author examines different approaches taken to explain why specifying and modifying elements cannot be extracted from within the nominal and/or adjectival domain in English while in Russian and Latin such a thing is allowed. Corver reviews Ross's (1986) Left Branch Condition, Emonds's (1985) Generalized LBC, subextraction from the 'wat voor' N-construction in Dutch, and subextraction in Slavic languages (Corver 1990,1992) in this respect, and concludes that ''languages whose nominals project to DP do not permit subextraction of specifying or modifying elements'' while those ''whose nominal projections lack the DP-level ... permit subextraction from the nominal domain (p. 591).'' He argues that Russian lacks a DP, and that ''potential candidates for the category D, like demonstratives, possessive pronoun, etc., should be analyzed as adjectives (p. 592).'' Corver's analysis, however, wrongly predicts that Persian, which uses demonstratives instead of 'true' Ds, must permit subextraction from the nominal domain as Russian does. The prediction is not borne out.
Chapter 67: Subject Clitics and Complex Inversion (pp. 601-659)
Jean-Yves Pollock makes the observation that French syntactically distinguishes between pronominal and non-pronominal subjects as an auxiliary verb like 'aller' or a main verb like 'penser' may invert with pronominal subjects but NOT with non-pronominals. Subject Clitic Inversion (SCLI) and Stylistic Inversion (SI) in French treat non-pronominal subjects differently, but strong pronominals 'lui' or 'toi' pattern after proper names and full DPs in SCLI constructions. Pollock examines the root/non-root asymmetry displayed by SCLI and Complex Inversion (CI) and concludes that the phenomena cannot involve any overt movement to the CP field (as Hulk 1993, Kayne 1994, and Sportiche 1993 conclude) ''only if and only if the computation to the CP field in SCLI and SI is head movement (p. 619).'' For Pollock, however, SCLI and CI involve pre-spellout computations to the CP field as Remnant Movement to the specifier position of a functional projection called HP. Remnant IP is attracted to HP to check the interrogative feature on the H head of the left periphery. SI is now different from SCLI and CI in the layer of the Comp domain that its Remnant IP targets. The chapter is wide and extensive in its empirical coverage. Although it is a shortened and simplified version of the second chapter of Poletto and Pollock (2004), it is still among the most technical chapters of the collection. The author's glosses for French examples are too brief (e.g. 'Peter-Neg-it-to-him-will-give-you-not' as the gloss for 56b 'Pierre ne le lui donnera-t-il pas?' with no English equivalent given for the whole sentence), if provided. This makes the chapter more difficult to read if you don't know French.
Chapter 68: Subjunctives (pp. 660-684)
Josep Quer studies the syntactic properties of the subjunctive mood mainly in Romance languages. For Quer, subjunctive is essentially an epiphenomenon derived from different lexical, syntactic or semantic factors. Subjunctive clauses are said to form more transparent domains than indicative ones. For instance, in most Romance languages, they are subordinate clauses showing obviation effects, i.e. the matrix subject cannot antecede the embedded subject. Subjunctive forms are associated with defective tense properties. They are claimed to have an idiosyncratic complementiser with operator properties. Subjunctive clauses and indefinite nominals are similar with regard to wh-extraction patterns. Even these general tendencies are far from being universal. Quer concludes that subjunctives ''do not constitute a uniform class; not only cross-linguistically but also within languages (p. 679).'' While the conclusion is a valid one, the chapter seems to take it for granted that whatever unifies subjunctive forms within and across different languages must be a syntactic factor, e.g. some Mood Phrase (MP) inside the left periphery of the sentence. Although subjunctives are syntactic creatures, it can still be up to certain semantico-cognitive factors to assign such syntactic properties to subjunctive forms. Not all aspects of syntax need to be autonomous.
Chapter 69: Syntactic Haplology (pp. 685-710)
Ad Neeleman and Hans Van de Koot review descriptive generalisations (but no analyses) proposed for haplology (the Repeated Morph Constraint) mainly in Dutch plus examples from some other languages including Spanish and German. The constraint is intended to capture the resistence against accidental repetition of morphemes, e.g. in '??die die dat rooie haar heeft' in Dutch. The authors elaborate on the strategies of tolerance, avoidance, deletion, and suppletion once a morpheme is accidentally repeated in a construction. While a number of sources for haplology phenomena are introduced, e.g. repetition of phonological forms or syntactic features, examples taken from different languages are juxtaposed rather carelessly so that generalisations may be misunderstood as universal tendencies.
Chapter 70: The Syntax of Modal Auxiliaries (pp. 1-22)
Sjef Barbiers examines five major analyses of the modal alternation between epistemic (speaker-matrix-subject oriented qualification of the truth of a proposition), and root (the emphasis on the ability, will, permission, etc. to perform an action) interpretations: (a) Ross (1969): epistemic interpretation for modals as one-place predicates, and root modals as two-place predicates, (b) Hofmann (1966), and Perlmutter (1970): epistemic modals as subject raising structures, and root modals as control structures, (c) Picallo (1990): a higher functional position for epistemic modals, and a lower lexical position for root modals, (d) McDowell (1987): epistemic modals are undergo movement at LF while root modals are interpreted in situ, and (e) Barbiers (1995, 2002): epistemic interpretation forced by complements denoting an unchangeable state or event. All in all, the chapter is both coherent and easy to follow. However, some analyses are not explored in detail, e.g. Butler's (2003) analysis of modals in term of phases (p. 16).
Chapter 71: The Syntax of Quantified Phrases and Quantitative Clitics (pp. 23-93)
Anna Cardinaletti and Giuliana Giusti review the research done on quantified phrases within the frameworks of EST (Jackendoff 1968, 1977 and Selkirk 1977), GB (Belletti & Rizzi 1981, Burzio 1986, Abney 1987 and Sportiche 1988), and MP (Kayne's 1994 anti-symmetry hypothesis and Chomsky's 1995 bare phrase structure) focusing on existential quantifiers (cardinals and 'vague numerals') that appear with quantitative clitic pronouns like 'en' in French. The authors conclude that quantity expressions are realised by different lexical categories including Qs, which head QPs. Moreover, existential Qs combine with quantitative DPs, and universal Qs with definite ones. The chapter is self-contained, coherent, and provides copious examples of Qs from languages as different as English, French, Italian, Hungarian, Romanian, German, Serbo-Croatian, and Turkish.
Chapter 72: Temporal Reference (pp. 94-136)
Fabio Pianesi focuses on the referential and non-referential approaches to temporal operators and entities. The referential approach considers such entities as those organised in a natural sequence (the earlier-than/later-than relation). The non-referential approach, which is not popular among linguists but revived recently by Ludlow 1999, originated by philosophers who believe that tense cannot be captured in terms of precedence as ''the very basic question of whether reference to time is to be admitted or not among the tools of the theory is still an open issue ... (p. 119).'' Although the non-referential approach, which Pianesi openly takes side with, is both theoretically and empirically interesting, Ludlow's work seems to be too marginal among the generative studies of the past 40 years to be treated at such a length and in a collection like the BCS. The chapter simply puts in perspective what a philosophical approach to temporal reference may amount to once adopted by linguists.
Chapter 73: Topicalization in Asian Languages (pp. 137-174)
Liejiong Xu investigates topicalisation in Chinese and Japanese as two topic-prominent Asian languages which share a number of syntactic, semantic and pragmatic properties as in both of them ''[t]he topic occurs to the left of a full comment sentence. It is definite or generic and is characterized by shared familiarity to both the speaker and the hearer (p. 138).'' The author reviews movement and base-generation analyses of topicalisation phenomena. Focus in contrast with topic is also discussed briefly towards the end of the chapter. The chapter is not stylistically flawless: The author makes too many general references while reviewing the research background, e.g. 'opinions differ among Chinese linguists' (p. 141), 'linguists who do not believe that ...' (p. 152), or 'universally agreed by Japanese linguists' (p. 150), without saying which specific people are alluded to. The chapter has got no concluding section but an appendix in its stead.
E. G. Ruys describes the scope properties of 'specific' NPs in English such as 'some movie' in 'every girl will be happy if some movie is shown' where the indefinite NP can be outside the scope of 'every girl'. Ruys begins with the issue of specificity approached either as indefinite NPs with an inherent binary ambiguity, or, on the other hand, as indefinites always being quantificational expressions with the specific vs. non-specific ambiguity as a scope ambiguity. The 'island-escaping scope' effect as in 'if a relative of mine dies, I will inherit a fortune', with a wide-scope (or 'specific') interpretation for the indefinite NP 'a relative of mine', cannot be explained via postulating the extraction of indefinites from the if-clause because '[i]f indefinites under-went unrestricted QR, then wide-scope 'distributive' readings for plural indefinites would naturally be expected (p. 219)'' as in 'if three relatives of mine die, I will inherit a house', which is not borne out. In Reinhart's (1997) alternative analysis, on the other hand, indefinites are interpreted in situ as open formulae that contains a free variable. According to Ruys, such a variable is necessarily of the choice function (CF) type in order to have the correct semantics. Like many other generative linguists, Ruys takes the existence of LF as formulated in GB theories for granted throughout the chapter. However, given that no other chapter in the BCS focuses on LF (which is a pity given the centrality of LF issues in GB and MP), such central controversies over the status of LF in grammar as those raised by Brody's Lexico-Logical Form and Chomsky's phase theory could be treated as well.
Chapter 75: Verb Clusters, Verb Raising, and Restructuring (pp. 229-343)
Susi Wurmbrand's chapter is a summary of empirical and theoretical questions and analyses (movement vs. restructuring) concerning verb clusters in West Germanic. Verb clusters are constructions with more than one verbal element like 'that John must (1) have (2) been (3) elected (4)' in English, or 'dass Hans gewahlt (4) worden (3) sein (2) muss (1)' in German. The major empirical concern of the chapter is 'the determination of the (im)possible orders of verbal elements in different constructions and different languages and dialects ... (p. 231).'' The author argues that such clusters cannot be derived (exclusively) by head incorporation. a pure phrasal movement analysis can be maintained (for Dutch clusters) if idiomatic phrases and particles are assumed to be subject to a vacuous movement constraint. Both mono-clausal and bi-clausal restructuring analyses of verb clusters are reviewed rather briefly. No specific evaluation is made concerning the validity of each apart from considering restructuring as ''an interesting and potentially very fruitful area for further research (p. 323).'' As for the validity of verb-cluster movement analyses, which assume such a movement is triggered by some syntactic feature in need of checking or a licensing condition to be met, Wurmbrand observes (I think correctly) that ''generally, these features or conditions are simply stated as being present in one language vs. absent in another, or weak in one language vs. strong in another, and moreover they are not related to any property of the particular language (group) they are postulated for (p. 285).'' To my disappointment, however, the author immediately adds that ''the aim of this perhaps slightly negative discussion is not to criticize any of the existing approaches to verb clusters, but rather to point out that there are issues that have not been settled yet and hence offer an interesting terrain for further research (p. 285).'' As such, the chapter remains a summary (rather than a critical review) of analyses of verb clusters made in the past two decades of generative research on the topic.
Martin Haiden investigates verb particle constructions--''collocations of a verb and another element, like call+up ... (p. 345)''--in Germanic VO/OV languages. Formulating the problems inherent in the study of such constructions along Ludeling's (2001) 'delimitation problem' (that V+X combinations are mainly inconsistent in their patterns of behaviour), Haiden proceeds to relate distributional, morphological, syntactic and functional properties of particles in these languages. Lexicalist, semi-lexicalist and syntactic analyses of the phenomena, e.g. Stiebels and Wunderlich (1994), Groos (1989), Toivonen (2001), Zeller (1999), Den Dikken (1995), and Ludeling (2001) are reviewed throughout the chapter. Haiden cannot reach any conclusion concerning the nature of verb particle constructions, and concludes the chapter with repeating the introductory remark that ''what native speakers perceive as a verb particle construction, a particle-verb, a phrasal verb, etc., in a given language does not have consistent phrase structural or functional properties, and therefore does not have a single representation in an explanatory theory (pp. 371-372).''
Chapter 77: Wh-in-Situ (pp. 376-438)
Josef Bayer examines wh-in-situ phenomena in both wh-in-situ and wh-moving languages mostly within the framework of LF theory. As a case study, the author focuses on wh-scope Bengali an Eastern Indo-Aryan language that employs a clitic-like optional element as a yes/no interrogative marker. Reviewing the GB theory of LF movement, unselective binding analysis, and the D-linked accounts of wh-in-situ phenomena, he concludes that the differences between wh-in-situ and wh-moving languages are parameterised, that wh-scope is necessarily due to (overt/covert) movement, and that while the interrogative force must rest in a clause-peripheral functional position to take scope, the wh-element in situ is not an operator at all but a kind of variable. The chapter sets a good example for contributions to works like the BCS: a very good introduction to the topic, very little presupposed, reasonable length, and wide theoretical and empirical coverage. The episode on Bengali, however, is not well incorporated into the chapter so that although the section contributes greatly to the investigation of the topic, it damages the coherence of the whole chapter. Also the review of the analyses of the phenomena does not do justice to minimalist accounts of interrogatives in general and wh-in-situ in particular. A major work like Hagstrom's (1998) groundbreaking study of wh-in-situ in Japanese, Sinhala, and Okinawan, for instance, is not even mentioned in Bayer's chapter on wh-in-situ.
CONCLUSION: GENERAL NOTES ON THE COMPANION
The BCS is definitely among the most outstanding reference works ever produced for the field of generative syntax. It will stay with us for years to come as an indispensable research tool. No surprise, then, that Chomsky describes it as ''unique in character and designed with great skill and care ... An invaluable research tool for the study of language.'' Every library for graduate students of syntax must have the volumes on their shelves. The editors of the companion will be always remembered for the great service they did to the linguistics community. However, there is always some space for improvement, and the BCS is no exception.
The alphabetical structure of the companion makes it quite accessible. However, some readers may simply miss a chapter or section of interest given the absence of a more conceptual structuring of the work, which can be easily amended with a conceptual map of the companion added to the table of contents, or a 'further reading' section at the end of each chapter. A more thorough introduction to the BCS where the editors would introduce chapters would benefit the reader, too.
Like any other reference book, the BCS cannot satisfy everyone's taste and needs when it comes to the selection of topics. However, there are still some major themes that the companion fails to treat thoroughly. Logical forms, thematic roles, and the question of economy and optimality in the theories of syntax are among the topics which deserve a more thorough treatment. The editors have confined the companion to the work done in mainstream generative linguistics. Some groundbreaking work in generative syntax, however, originated in such generative theories of syntax as LFG, GPSG, HPSG, and OT.
Finally, the languages in focus in the BCS chapters are not selected in proportion to the amount/significance of research done on them. Instead, the choice of language and topic seems to primarily reflect the editors' research interests. As a result, a good number of chapters focus on the syntactic phenomena characterising North and West Germanic languages. Then it should not surprise us that there are about 140 pages in the collection with at least one reference made to Icelandic. The number is reduced to 4 for Persian! Some other languages like Slavonic, African, Semitic, and Asian languages are not in a much better position given the great bulk of data available on them.
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ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Dr. Ahmad R. Lotfi, faculty member of Azad University at Khorasgan
(Esfahan) where he teaches advanced courses in syntax to graduate students
of English. His research interests include minimalist syntax, second
language acquisition studies in generative grammar, and Persian linguistics.