LINGUIST List 21.1221

Thu Mar 11 2010

Books: Phonology/Syntax: Richards

Editor for this issue: Fatemeh Abdollahi <fatemehlinguistlist.org>


        1.    Diane Denner, Uttering Trees: Richards

Message 1: Uttering Trees: Richards
Date: 11-Mar-2010
From: Diane Denner <dennermit.edu>
Subject: Uttering Trees: Richards
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Title: Uttering Trees Series Title: Linguistic Inquiry Monographs Published: 2010 Publisher: MIT Press
                http://mitpress.mit.edu/

Book URL: http://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262513715

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

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: http://linguistlist.org/get-book.html?BookID=46626


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