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Review of  The Structure of CP and IP

Reviewer: Andrew Carnie
Book Title: The Structure of CP and IP
Book Author: Luigi Rizzi
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Subject Language(s): Italian
Issue Number: 16.26

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Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 14:50:52 -0700 (MST)
From: Andrew Carnie
Subject: The Structure of CP and IP: The Cartography of Syntactic
Structures, Vol. 2

EDITOR: Rizzi, Luigi
TITLE: The Structure of CP and IP
SUBTITLE: The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Vol. 2
SERIES: Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax
PUBLISHER: Oxford University Press
YEAR: 2004

Andrew Carnie, University of Arizona

This book, which contains papers presented at the "Workshop on the
Cartography of Syntactic Positions and Semantic Types" (Certosa di
Pontignano, Siena, November 25- 26, 1999), presents a variety of articles
on the architecture of the functional categories in the clause. This book
is part of a series of three such volumes that focus on the nature and
organization of the functional structure of the clause and other phrases.
The other two books: Cinque's (2002) _The structure of DP and IP: The
Cartography of Syntactic Structures_, and Belletti's (2004) _Structures
and Beyond: The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Vol. 1_ have been
reviewed in LINGUIST issues
and respectively. The
topic/focus of this volume, not to pun too much, is on topic/focus
structure in the CP (complementizer phrase) and IP (inflectional phrase)
domains. The papers mostly have grown out of a tradition of work started
by Rizzi in his (1997 and subsequent) work on the "fine structure of the
left periphery of the clause" in which a variety of functional heads
(Topic, Focus, Finite, Force) replace the more traditional CP, as well as
out of the older tradition exploring "expanded" INFL which started with
Pollock's (1989) paper, and was the height of fashion in early Minimalism.

The book opens with a very interesting survey of the question of clausal
cartography by Luigi Rizzi ("On the Cartography of Syntactic Structures").
Rizzi observes that the study of clausal cartography in generative grammar
starts with the discussion of affix hopping in _Syntactic Structures_
(Chomsky 1957). X-bar theory brought the question of the nature of
functional projections to the forefront resulting in the proposals for
CPs, IPs, and DPs, The empirical questions of argument licensing, adjunct
licensing, head positions and head movement all provide us with insights
into the nature of the functional architecture of the clause. In addition
to this historical survey, and a summary of all the papers in the volume,
Rizzi provides a very thought-provoking discussion of how minimalist
thinking and the reduction of functionality to features has resulted in an
apparent "maximization" of the number of functional categories. He
observes that this kind of investigation has forced researchers to
consider more finely grained semantic analyses including reference to
discourse/pragmatic factors such as topicality and focus. It was this that
led Rizzi to his influential proposal that the CP structure was more
properly divided into Force, Finiteness, Topic and Focus functional
projections. This proposal forms the starting point from which many papers
in this book develop.

Adriana Belletti's contribution, "Aspects of the Low IP Area", is a
beautifully argued article. She claims that parallel to the Focus/Topic
structure found in the CP domain there are Focus and Topic projections
between the IP and the v/VP. The main empirical domain of inquiry in the
paper is the nature of post-verbal subjects. She contrasts Free Inversion
(FI) from Stylistic Inversion (SI); the latter type exhibited in French.
Using evidence from adverbs, extraction, and negative polarity items, she
shows that SI shows the properties we might expect of elements in the CP
domain, but subjects in FI appears to be low in the structure. Belletti
demonstrates that the subjects in FI constructions behave like foci. She
goes on to compare ungrammatical VSO structures to those with a PP
complement (VSPP); she gives an explanation of this in terms of case and
relativized minimality. She also compares two VOS orders and orders in
which the post-verbal subject appears to be topical rather than focal.

As mentioned above, the argumentation in this paper is exquisite and very
convincing. Indeed, I intend to assign this paper to my students as an
example of how to make arguments about clausal architecture. One point
that stuck in my craw, however, was the fairly extensive literature
comparing and attempting to explain VSO structures in Spanish and Romanian
(and other romance languages), but no reference was made to the quite
extensive literature on argument licensing and information structure in
VSO languages outside of Romance (not to toot my own horn, but see for
example, the contributions in Carnie & Guilfoyle (2000) and Carnie, Harley
and Dooley (2005)). This literature contains fairly extensive discussion
of argument licensing and information structure in many languages that
seem to make use of the "lower" topic/focus domain that Belletti so aptly
identifies in Italian.

Paola Beninca' and Cecilia Poletto use evidence from a number of Italian
dialects and closely related Romance forms to argue for a modified and
more fine-grained CP layer than that proposed by Rizzi. Their
paper "Topic, Focus, and V2: Defining the CP sublayers" first argues, on
the basis of weak crossover effects and interpretation, that of Rizzi's
original [Topic [Focus [Topic [IP]]] structure, the lower of the two
topics is more properly analyzed an informational focus position. Using
cross- dialectal evidence and verb second (V2) phenomena, they distinguish
this position from the higher focus, which they claim is contrastive. They
also claim that the Topic projection is also more finely articulated into
Hanging Topic, Scene Setting adverbials, (both of which constitute
the "Frame"), Left Dislocated Structures and List Interpreted items (which
constitute the "theme").

The next paper in the volume, Valentina Bianchi's "Resumptive Relatives
and LF chains", is a bit of an odd man out in a volume on functional
architecture. Although she makes use of Rizzi's ForceP and proposes a
GroundP (which seems to be similar to the "Frame" of Beninca' and Poletto
(above)), there is very little about the analysis that bears on the
question of functional cartography. Nevertheless the paper is interesting
in and of itself. Bianchi surveys different types resumptive strategies in
different types of relative clauses, and explains why some types of
relative clauses resist resumption and others require it. She draws upon
Enc's (1991) notion of referential index, and claims that resumptive
pronouns are spell-outs of these indexes on the tail of movement chains.

The paper by Anna Cardinaletti, "Toward a Cartography of Subject
Positions", is a useful complement to Belletti's contribution. While
Belletti focuses on post-verbal subjects in Italian and related languages,
Cardinaletti focuses primarily on preverbal subject positions (although
she does have a brief discussion of VP internal and "middle field"
subjects as well, including the functional projection where case
assignment occurs). Cardinaletti claims that there are at least three
distinct functional projections between the CP domain and the surface
position of the verb. She distinguishes between a relatively low AgrS,
which hosts light pronouns and pro, an intermediate EPP head, which can
host locative subjects and expletives, and SubjP, which hosts the "subject
of Predication" argument. Like Belletti's paper, the argumentation is
extremely elegant, however one wonders the extent to which Cardinaletti
and Belletti's accounts are compatible.

Like Bianchi's paper, Carlo Cecchetto's "Remnant Movement in the theory of
Phases" only tangentially addresses the question of clausal cartography,
by claiming that each of Rizzi's CP articulations can count independently
as a "phase-edge" for the CP. The focus of Cecchetto's extremely dense and
difficult to follow paper, however, is on remnant movement. He is most
interested in distinguishing between cases where remnant movement results
in what has traditionally been treated as a relativized minimality effect,
to those that are fully grammatical. The standard account is based on the
observation that remnant movement over an element extracted from that
remnant is ungrammatical when the two movements are of the same kind.
Cecchetto marshals a number of arguments against this approach.
Unfortunately, I found none of them terribly convincing. Some of his
arguments are based on the claim that Japanese scrambling is "semantically
vacuous", which, to say the least, is very controversial. His other
arguments all rest on the assumption that given the configuration
(a) [...[Z ... t-x...]... X ... t-z]
is unacceptable because underlyingly the structure is
(b) [... ___... [Z ... X...]],
where Z is a closer target for the movement to the surface position of X
in (a). Note however, there is another interpretation of the
ungrammaticality of structures such as (a): note that in (a), X is a
closer potential antecedent for the trace than the remnant constituent Z.
All of Cecchetto's arguments against a relativized minimality account rest
on the fact that Z is the intervening category, not X. Cecchetto provides
an account given in terms of phase edges and the Chomsky's phase
impenetrability condition (PIC).

"Complementizer Deletion in Italian" by Alessandra Giorgi and Fabio
Pianesi examines the close interrelationship of the low CP domain (mood)
and the high IP domain (AgrS). They claim that the phenomenon of
complementizer deletion (CD) in Italian is neither deletion nor V to C
movement. Instead they appeal to a notion of feature "Scattering" (where
by features maybe distributed, in order, across a number of different
functional categories), and lexicalization. CD deletion occurs when Mood
features and Agreement features syncretize on a single head. _Che_ by
contrast, appears when Mood and agreement appear in separate heads. The
analysis is pleasing and explanatory, but I think it might be refined if
it were cast in terms of the theory of Distributed Morphology, and instead
of "scattering" the authors could make use of a universal set of
functional categories and feature distributions and appeal to head fusion
and the principles of vocabulary insertion.

In the first of two papers on clitics, Rita Manzini and Leonardo Savoia
("Clitics: Cooccurrence and Mutual Exclusion Patterns), argue for an
approach like Sportiche (1996) that clitics represent functional
categories both within DPs and within clauses. They propose a hierarchy of
D-op, D, R, Q, P, Loc, and N. P represents discourse reference, limited
to objects; Loc is for demonstratives; R is for specifics, D, Q, and N
have their usual values (Determiner, Quantifier, and Noun); and D-op is to
host partitive "of". These functional categories are merged in their
surface position (which may be above C, between C and I and between I and
V). Mutually exclusive clitics are not ruled out by a competition-based
mechanism (such as Optimality Theory) or by a DM-style Elsewhere
principle, instead by simple syntactic parameters that govern the relative
order of clitics and the cases where two clitics may not cooccur.

"On the Left Periphery of Some Romance Wh-questions", by Cecilia Poletto
and Jean-Yves Pollock, considers the structure of wh-questions and
stylistic inversions in French, Italian and Bellunese. They follow Kayne
(1998) in assuming that there is no covert movement. Apparent covert
relations are actually overt movements with subsequent remnant movement
obscuring the initial move. Furthermore, they claim that subject clitic
inversion does not involve any head-movement but is also the consequence
of remnant movement. They argue for a left periphery consisting of [ Op2 [
Force [ Ground [ Top [ Op1 [IP]]]]]]. The two Op positions attract two
different kinds of wh-words. The higher one for wh-phrases that previously
would have been analyzed as having moved overtly, and the lower for object
wh-in situ. Depending upon the construction, the specifiers of ForceP,
GroundP and TopP are the landing sites for various movements and remnants.

Ian Robert's "The C-System in Brythonic Celtic Languages, V2, and the
EPP", relates the requirement on Brythonic Celtic (Welsh and Breton) to
have preverbal particles to the requirements of V-movement in V2
constructions in the Germanic languages (and the partial V2 nature of
Breton). He claims that both phenomena are part of a general requirement
that Finite be filled. He also argues that the complementizer particles in
Celtic (including Irish) are actually lower (in Finite) than those of
English (in force), which explains the apparent variation in adverbial
placement in Celtic and Germanic, discussed by McCloskey (1996). This is a
nicely argued paper, and one that is causing me to rethink my own analyses
of Irish complementizers and copular constructions. I'm a little
disappointed however about an important gap in its citations and
discussion. The literature on Celtic is not vast and there is a recent
paper by Hendrick (2000) that covers much of the same ground (and reaches
related, but different conclusions) about the organization of the C system
at least; the proposals in that paper should have been addressed here.

The last paper in the volume, by Ur Shlonsky ("Enclisis and Proclisis"),
claims that variation among Romance varieties (and extended to various
dialects of Berber) in terms of whether clitics are realized as pro- or
enclitics, is due to whether the verb has fully checked its features below
the clitic head or must do further checking above it. Enclisis is true
head-to-head movement. Attaching a verb to a clitic results in the verb
(and its features from being inaccessible for further checking.) Proclisis
by contrast occurs only when enclisis cannot and results, at least in
part, from two separate adjunctions to a single head. Crosslinguistic
variation is due to differences in where the cliticization occurs with
respect to negation, finite inflection and relevant features in C. This
paper is an interesting complement to Manzini and Savoia's paper and I
would have liked to have seen (in both papers) a comparison of their

Overall this book is an important contribution to our understanding of
clausal architecture and the number and nature of the CP and IP domains in
minimalist syntax. Rizzi's (1997) work has clearly opened up a rich domain
of inquiry, as the papers in this volume show.

Before I launch into a couple of conceptual issues that I have with the
approach and its virtues and problems, I'd like to point out a couple of
minor editorial issues. First, this book is based on a series of papers
given at a workshop in 1999. The five-year lag between presentation and
publication gives some of the papers a vaguely asynchronic feel. Some of
the papers have clearly been updated to reflect more modern thinking;
others have not. I'm a great believer that edited volumes, even those that
come out of conferences, should make a clear attempt to get the papers to
cross-reference each other, and where appropriate discuss each other's
analyses. There is almost no cross-referencing between the papers here,
even when the papers are clearly closely related in either topic or
analysis. Finally, I know from experience that Oxford's proofreaders are
excellent, but they seem to have fallen down on the job in a number of the
papers in this volume. Particularly frustrating are the diagrams that have
been misaligned. For example, the schematic of Benica' and Poletto's
analysis (their example 58) is absolutely impossible to understand, as it
has been split onto two lines and skewed out of shape. Similarly,
throughout there are many cases where bracket labels are not subscripted,
which makes them very difficult to distinguish from the heads. In
Cecchetto's article the definition of the PIC appears to be part of the
main body of the text, which makes it very hard to follow. These may be
minor points, but they take away from the important issues and results in
the papers.

Turning now to the question of the overall research program that drives
this volume: With the exception of Cecchetto, Roberts and Shlonsky (who
address Japanese, Celtic and Germanic, and Berber respectively), the bulk
of the papers in this volume focus on Romance languages, and in particular
on Italian dialects. This should not be entirely surprising given who the
authors and editor are, and given that the conference underlying the book
was sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Education. However, it does bring
two thoughts to my mind. On one hand, it is clear that looking at micro-
variation among closely related dialects gives us interesting and
comprehensive results. The sophisticated analyses in this volume attest to
this. On the other hand, one might wish that a broader crosslinguistic
perspective on the issue. This could help confirm the results, and show
that the phenomena in question aren't merely Romance centered. I hope the
series editors might consider a fourth volume in the series that address
variation in more language outside the Indo-European core that is the
focus of this book.

This said, I have to laud the editor and contributors on another ground:
This book clearly brings into the light a domain of inquiry that has been
taboo for too long in mainstream Chomskyan syntax: the role of information
structure and discourse/pragmatics on word order and word order
alternations. The importance of these factors has too long been ignored
and left to functionalists to investigate. This volume is an important
step forward in formalizing such notions as topic, focus, theme, rheme,
ground, and force into current Chomskyan theorizing.


Carnie, Andrew and Eithne Guilfoyle (2002) (eds.) _The Syntax of Verb
Initial Languages_ Oxford: Oxford University Press

Carnie, Andrew, Heidi Harley, and Sheila Dooley, eds. (2005) _Verb First_.
Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Chomsky, Noam (1957) _Syntactic Structures_ The Hague: Mouton.

Enç, Murvet (1991) "The Semantics of Specificity." _Linguistic Inquiry_
22: 1-25.

Hendrick, Randall (2000) "Celtic Initials" in Carnie and Guilfoyle (eds.)
_The Syntax of Verb Initial Languages_ Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kayne, Richard (1998) "Overt vs. Covert Movement." _Syntax_ 1: 128-191

McCloskey, James (1996) "On the Scope of Verb Movement in Irish" _Natural
Language and Linguistic Theory_ 14: 47-104.

Pollock, Jean-Yves (1989) "Verb Movement, Universal Grammar and the
Structure of IP" _Linguistic Inquiry_ 20: 365-424.

Rizzi, Luigi (1997) "The Fine Structure of the Left Periphery" in L.
Haegeman (ed). _Elements of Grammar_ Dordrecht: Kluwer, 281-387.

Sportiche, Dominique (1996) "Clitic Constructions" in J. Rooryck and L.
Zaring (eds.) _Phrase Structure and the Lexicon._ Dordrecht: Kluwer, 213-


Andrew Carnie is an Associate Professor of syntactic theory in the
department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona, Tucson. His
research interests include representations of constituency, case, and VSO
languages. He has published 3 edited volumes, and the textbook _Syntax: A
Generative Introduction_.

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