LINGUIST List 21.1221

Thu Mar 11 2010

Books: Phonology/Syntax: Richards

Editor for this issue: Fatemeh Abdollahi <>

        1.    Diane Denner, Uttering Trees: Richards

Message 1: Uttering Trees: Richards
Date: 11-Mar-2010
From: Diane Denner <>
Subject: Uttering Trees: Richards
E-mail this message to a friend

Title: Uttering Trees Series Title: Linguistic Inquiry Monographs Published: 2010 Publisher: MIT Press

Book URL:

Author: Norvin Richards Hardback: ISBN: 0262013762 9780262013765 Pages: 240 Price: U.S. $ 60
Paperback: ISBN: 0262513714 9780262513715 Pages: 240 Price: U.S. $ 30

In Uttering Trees, Norvin Richards investigates the conditions imposed uponsyntax by the need to create syntactic objects that can be interpreted byphonology--that is, objects that can be pronounced. Drawing extensively onlinguistic data from a variety of languages, including Japanese, Basque,Tagalog, Spanish, Kinande (Bantu language spoken in the Democratic Republicof the Congo), and Chaha (Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia), Richardsmakes two new proposals about the relationship between syntax and phonology.

The first, "Distinctness," has to do with the process of imposing a linearorder on the constituents of the tree. Richards claims that syntactic nodeswith many properties in common cannot be directly linearized and must bekept structurally distant from each other. He argues that a variety ofsyntactic phenomena can be explained by this generalization, including muchof what has traditionally been covered by case theory. Richards's secondproposal, "Beyond Strength and Weakness," is an attempt to predict, for anygiven language, whether that language will exhibit overt or covertwh-movement. Richards argues that we can predict whether or not a languagecan leave wh in situ by investigating more general properties of itsprosody. This proposal offers an explanation for a cross-linguisticdifference—that wh-phrases move overtly in some languages and covertly inothers—that has hitherto been simply stipulated. In both these areas, itappears that syntax begins constructing a phonological representationearlier than previously thought; constraints on both word order and prosodybegin at the beginning of the derivation.

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology                             Syntax
Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:

This Year the LINGUIST List hopes to raise $65,000. This money will go to help keep the List running by supporting all of our Student Editors for the coming year. See below for donation instructions, and don't forget to check out our Space Fund Drive 2010 and join us for a great journey! There are many ways to donate to LINGUIST! You can donate right now using our secure credit card form at Alternatively you can also pledge right now and pay later. To do so, go to: For all information on donating and pledging, including information on how to donate by check, money order, or wire transfer, please visit: The LINGUIST List is under the umbrella of Eastern Michigan University and as such can receive donations through the EMU Foundation, which is a registered 501(c) Non Profit organization. Our Federal Tax number is 38-6005986. These donations can be offset against your federal and sometimes your state tax return (U.S. tax payers only). For more information visit the IRS Web-Site, or contact your financial advisor. Many companies also offer a gift matching program, such that they will match any gift you make to a non-profit organization. Normally this entails your contacting your human resources department and sending us a form that the EMU Foundation fills in and returns to your employer. This is generally a simple administrative procedure that doubles the value of your gift to LINGUIST, without costing you an extra penny. Please take a moment to check if your company operates such a program. Thank you very much for your support of LINGUIST!

-------------------------- Major Supporters --------------------------


Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Cascadilla Press

Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd

De Gruyter Mouton

Edinburgh University Press

Elsevier Ltd

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

European Language Resources Association - ELRA

Georgetown University Press

John Benjamins

Lincom GmbH

MIT Press

Multilingual Matters

Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG

Oxford University Press

Palgrave Macmillan

Peter Lang AG


Routledge (Taylor and Francis)


University of Toronto Press


---------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ----------------------

Graduate Linguistic Students' Association, Umass

International Pragmatics Assoc.

Langues et Linguistique

Linguistic Association of Finland

Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke - LOT

Pacific Linguistics

SIL International

St. Jerome Publishing Ltd

Page Updated: