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On the Offensive

By Karen Stollznow

On the Offensive " This book sheds light on the derogatory phrases, insults, slurs, stereotypes, tropes and more that make up linguistic discrimination. Each chapter addresses a different area of prejudice: race and ethnicity; gender identity; sexuality; religion; health and disability; physical appearance; and age."



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Dissertation Information


Title: The Subject and Infinitival Complementation in English Add Dissertation
Author: Michael Maxwell Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Washington, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 1984
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): Michael Brame

Abstract: In this thesis, I develop a version of lexical syntax in which the subject is not subcategorized by the verb. The subject-predicate relation is undestood as a coindexing relationship, with important implications for the analysis of infinitival complementation.

The competing analyses of infinitival control and raising structures are briefly discussed in chapter one, introducing the theme.

Chapter two presents the version of lexical syntax to be argued for in the rest of the thesis. The interaction of indexing rules and filters on indexing results in a straightforward analysis of reflexivization, predication, and both tensed and infiinitival clauses.

Chapter three catalogs a number of asymmetries in syntactic behavior between the subject of a clause and the complements of a verb.

Chapter four shows how the asymmetries discussed in chapter three follow from the lexical theory proposed here. The superiority of this explanation over those given by the theory of Lexical Functional Grammar and the Government Binding theory is demonstrated.

Chapter five analyzes infinitival complements to verbs, contrasting my analysis with others, particularly that of the Government Binding theory. It is argued that there is no syntactic difference between raising and control structures, only a semantic one; the properties of both structures are shown to arise from the indexing rules and from semantic constraints placed by the matrix verb on the NP which is understood as the subject of the infinitival. Furthermore, it is shown that properties of 'want'-type verbs cannot be accounted for by a rule of 'for'-deletion; rather, these verbs subcategorize both 'for-to' clauses and NP + VP complements, in the latter case behaving like raising/ control verbs except as constrained by a semantic condition.

Chapter six summarizes the results.