LINGUIST List 30.285

Thu Jan 17 2019

Books: Questions of Syntax: Kayne

Editor for this issue: Jeremy Coburn <>

Date: 12-Dec-2018
From: Alyssa Russell <>
Subject: Questions of Syntax: Kayne
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Title: Questions of Syntax
Published: 2018
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Book URL:

Author: Richard S. Kayne
Hardback: ISBN: 9780190863586 Pages: 432 Price: U.S. $ 99.00

There are far more syntactically distinct languages than we might have thought; yet there are far fewer than there might have been. Questions of Syntax collects sixteen papers authored by Richard S. Kayne, a preeminent theoretical syntactician, who has sought over the course of his career to understand why both these facts are true.

With a particular emphasis on comparative syntax, these chapters collectively consider how wide a range of questions the field of syntax can reasonably attempt to ask and then answer. At issue, among other topics, are the relation between syntax and (certain aspects of) semantics, the relation between syntax and what appear to be lexical questions, the relation between syntax and morphology, the relation between syntax and certain aspects of phonology (insofar as silent elements and their properties play a substantial role), and the extent to which comparative syntax can provide new and decisive evidence bearing on these different kinds of questions. To Kayne, comparative syntax can shed light on what may initially seem lexical questions, and antisymmetry on the evolution of human language itself.

Taken as a whole, these essays elucidate the theoretical contributions of one the most influential scholars in linguistics.

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 17-Jan-2019