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LINGUIST List 23.3570

Mon Aug 27 2012

Books: Local Instability: Ott

Editor for this issue: Danniella Hornby <daniellalinguistlist.org>

Date: 27-Aug-2012
From: Julia Ulrich <julia.ulrichdegruyter.com>
Subject: Local Instability: Ott
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Title: Local Instability
Subtitle: Split Topicalization and Quantifier Float in German
Series Title: De Gruyter Linguistische Arbeiten 544
Published: 2012
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
                http://www.degruyter.com/mouton

Book URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/183737?format=G

Author: Dennis Ott
Electronic: ISBN: 9783110290950 Pages: 174 Price: Europe EURO 99.95
Hardback: ISBN: 9783110290370 Pages: 174 Price: Europe EURO 99.95
Abstract:

This monograph argues for a novel approach to split topicalization and quantifier float in German, based on the premise that syntactic structure-building proceeds solely via free application of Merge. Following recent developments in the pursuit of a more principled theory of syntax, it is argued that the stipulative notion of 'projection' ought to be dispensed with: syntactic objects created by Merge are not headed, and endocentricity arises due to a simple search algorithm. When this algorithm fails, specifically in symmetric {XP,YP} structures, an unlabeled constituent results; where a label is required, such structures are locally unstable. It is argued that both split topics and floated quantifiers are the result of this kind of local instability: when an exocentric predication structure is merged in argument or adjunct position, XP must be displaced at the phase level to allow for determination of a label. It is this symmetry-breaking movement that yields the 'split constituent' in surface form. Based on careful empirical scrutiny of two recalcitrant problems for syntactic theory, the present work adduces substantial support for a 'minimalist' grammatical architecture devoid of phrase-structural residue.

Linguistic Field(s): Generative Linguistics
                            Syntax

Subject Language(s): German (deu)

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/pubs/books/get-book.cfm?BookID=62016


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