LINGUIST List 9.1140

Mon Aug 17 1998

Books: Syntax / Semantics

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>

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  1. Rebecca Wipfler, Syntax/Syntax-Semantics Interface

Message 1: Syntax/Syntax-Semantics Interface

Date: 13 Aug 98 10:01:50 -0500
From: Rebecca Wipfler <>
Subject: Syntax/Syntax-Semantics Interface

Potsdam, Eric;Syntactic Issues in the English Imperative;
0-8153-3129-0, cloth; pages, $97; Garland Publishing; Outstanding
Dissertations in Linguistics

	This book investigates long-standing problems in the syntactic
analysis of the English imperative. Most earlier works within the
generative tradition have claimed that the syntax of imperatives
idiosyncratically and irreducibly differs from that of other English
clauses. This work argues that, on the contrary, the imperative has a
largely regular syntax which is fully compatible with current formal
grammars of English.
	The putative differences reside primarily in three domainsthe
behavior of the auxiliary verbs "have" and "be," the options for
subjects, and the word order in negative and emphatic clauses. This
study addresses each of these controversial domains in turn and argues
that the behavior of the imperative is unexceptional in each case. The
work is unique in attempting to assimilate the syntax of the English
imperative to better-established analyses of English originally
developed for other areas of the language. In defending this thesis,
the work analyzes word order, constituent structure, and semantic
restrictions in the imperative. Analyses of two core phenomena in
English syntax, adverb placement and VP ellipsis, are also
defended. This in-depth investigation of syntactic and semantic
aspects of the Modern English imperative will be of interest to
scholars of syntactic theory, English linguistics, and English

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1998 Contributors

  • Addison Wesley Longman
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cambridge University Press
  • CSLI Publications
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Garland Publishing
  • Holland Academic Graphics (HAG)
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • MIT Press--Books Division
  • MIT Working Papers in Linguistics
  • Oxford University Press
  • Francais Pratique
  • Routledge
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics
  • Mouton de Gruyter