During the last thirty years, most linguists and philosophers have assumed that meaning can be represented symbolically and that the mental processing of language involves the manipulation of symbols. Scholars have assembled strong evidence that there must be linguistic representations at several abstract levels--phonological, syntactic, and semantic--and that those representations are related by a describable system of rules. Because meaning is so complex, linguists often posit an equally complex relationship between semantic and other levels of grammar. The Semantics of (...) class='Hi'>Syntax is an elegant and powerful analysis of the relationship between syntax and semantics. Noting that meaning is underdetermined by form even in simple cases, Denis Bouchard argues that it is impossible to build knowledge of the world into grammar and still have a describable grammar. He thus proposes simple semantic representations and simple rules to relate linguistic levels. Focusing on a class of French verbs, Bouchard shows how multiple senses can be accounted for by the assumption of a single abstract core meaning along with background information about how objects behave in the world. He demonstrates that this move simplifies the syntax at no cost to the descriptive power of the semantics. In two important final chapters, he examines the consequences of his approach for standard syntactic theories. (shrink)
Split constructions are widespread in natural languages. The separation of the semantic restriction of a quantifier from that quantifier is a typical example of such a construction. This study addresses the problem that such discontinuous strings exhibit--namely, a number of locality constraints, including intervention effects. These are shown to follow from the interaction of a minimalist syntax with a semantics that directly assigns a model-theoretic interpretation to syntactic logical forms. The approach is shown to have wide empirical coverage and (...) a conceptual simplicity. The book will be of interest to scholars and advanced students of syntax and semantics. (shrink)
This book is concerned with the relationship between semantics and surface structure and in particular with the way in which each is mapped into the other. Jim Miller argues that semantic and syntactic structure require different representations and that semantic structure is far more complex than many analysts realise. He argues further that semantic structure should be based on notions of location and movement. The need for a semantic component of greater complexity is demonstrated by an examination of prepositions, particles, (...) adverbs and verb-prefixes, and is shown to accord with cross-language and historical facts. The volume goes on to consider the sort of rules that are required to map semantic structures onto syntax. Semantics and Syntax tackles fundamental issues and draws together many of the key concepts of traditional grammar and formal linguistics. The general framework for handling syntax, semantics and morphology that it outlines is perhaps a controversial one, but it will be recognized as challenging and original. (shrink)
In The Dynamics of Meaning , Gennaro Chierchia tackles central issues in dynamic semantics and extends the general framework. Chapter 1 introduces the notion of dynamic semantics and discusses in detail the phenomena that have been used to motivate it, such as "donkey" sentences and adverbs of quantification. The second chapter explores in greater depth the interpretation of indefinites and issues related to presuppositions of uniqueness and the "E-type strategy." In Chapter 3, Chierchia extends the dynamic approach to the (...) domain of syntactic theory, considering a range of empirical problems that includes backwards anaphora, reconstruction effects, and weak crossover. The final chapter develops the formal system of dynamic semantics to deal with central issues of definites and presupposition. Chierchia shows that an approach based on a principled enrichment of the mechanisms dealing with meaning is to be preferred on empirical grounds over approaches that depend on an enrichment of the syntactic apparatus. Dynamics of Meaning illustrates how seemingly abstract stances on the nature of meaning can have significant and far-reaching linguistic consequences, leading to the detection of new facts and influencing our understanding of the syntax/semantics/pragmatics interface. (shrink)
This volume contains twelve chapters on the derivation of and the correlates to verb initial word order. The studies in this volume cover such widely divergent languages as Irish, Welsh, Scots Gaelic, Old Irish, Biblical Hebrew, Jakaltek, Mam, Lummi (Straits Salish), Niuean, Malagasy, Palauan, K'echi', and Zapotec, from a wide variety of theoretical perspectives, including Minimalism, information structure, and sentence processing. The first book to take a crosslinguistic comparative approach to verb initial syntax, this volume provides new data (...) to some old problems anddebates and explores some innovative approaches to the derivation of verb initial order. (shrink)
This collection covers the fundamental concepts and analytic tools of generative transformational syntax of the last half century, from Chomsky's Morphophonemics of Modern Hebrew (1951) to the present day. It makes available, in one place, key published material on important areas such as phrase structure, transformations, and conditions on rules and representations. Presenting articles by leading contributors to the field such as Baltin, Bokovic, Bresnan, Chomsky, Cinque, Emonds, Freidin, Hale, Higginbotham, Huang, Kayne, Lasnik, McCawley, Pollock, Postal, Reinhart, Rizzi, Ross, (...) Stowell, Torrego, Travis, Vergnaud, and Williams, this fascinating collection also includes a general introduction by the editors and an index, thus providing a comprehensive single reference resource for students and researchers alike. (shrink)
Understanding Minimalist Syntax introduces the logic of the Minimalist Program by analyzing well-known descriptive generalizations about long-distance dependencies. Proposes a new theory of how long-distance dependencies are formed, with implications for theories of locality, and the Minimalist Program as a whole Rich in empirical coverage, which will be welcomed by experts in the field, yet accessible enough for students looking for an introduction to the Minimalist Program.
This book examines the hypothesis of "direct compositionality", which requires that semantic interpretation proceed in tandem with syntactic combination. Although associated with the dominant view in formal semantics of the 1970s and 1980s, the feasibility of direct compositionality remained unsettled, and more recently the discussion as to whether or not this view can be maintained has receded. The syntax-semantics interaction is now often seen as a process in which the syntax builds representations which, at the abstract level of (...) logical form, are sent for interpretation to the semantics component of the language faculty. In the first extended discussion of the hypothesis of direct compositionality for twenty years, this book considers whether its abandonment might have been premature and whether in fact direct compositionality is not after all a simpler and more effective conception of the grammar than the conventional account of the syntax-semantics interface in generative grammar. It contains contributions from both sides of the debate, locates the debate in the setting of a variety of formal theories, and draws on examples from a range of languages and a range of empirical phenomena. (shrink)
This book is a collection of key readings on Minimalist Syntax, the most recent, and arguably most important, theoretical development within the Principles and Parameters approach to syntactic theory. Brings together in one volume the key readings on Minimalist Syntax Includes an introduction and overview of the Minimalist Program written by two prominent researchers Excerpts crucial pieces from the beginning of Minimalism to the most recent work and provides invaluable coverage of the most important topics.
One of the major arenas for debate within generative grammar is the nature of paradigmatic relations among words. Intervening in key debates at the interface between syntax and semantics, this book examines the relation between structure and meaning, and analyses how it affects the internal properties of words and corresponding syntactic manifestations. Adapting notions from the Evo-Devo project in biology (the idea of 'co-linearity' between structural units and behavioural manifestations) Juan Uriagereka addresses a major puzzle: how words can be (...) both decomposable so as to be acquired by children, and atomic, so that they do not manifest themselves as modular to adults. (shrink)
This book investigates the nature of the relationship between phonology and syntax and proposes a theory of Minimal Indirect Reference that solves many classic problems relating to the topic. Seidl shows that all variation across languages in phonological domain size is due to syntactic differences and a single domain parameter specific to phonology.
This is an introduction to the structure of sentences in human languages. It assumes no prior knowledge of linguistic theory and little of elementary grammar. It will suit students coming to syntactic theory for the first time either as graduates or undergraduates. It will also be useful for those in fields such as computational science, artificial intelligence, or cognitive psychology who need a sound knowledge of current syntactic theory.
Building on the success of the bestselling first edition, the second edition of this textbook provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the major issues in Principles and Parameters syntactic theory, including phrase structure, the lexicon, case theory, movement, and locality conditions. Includes new and extended problem sets in every chapter, all of which have been annotated for level and skill type. Features three new chapters on advanced topics including vP shells, object shells, control, gapping and ellipsis and an additional (...) chapter on advanced topics in binding. Offers a brief survey of both Lexical-Functional Grammar and Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar. Succeeds in strengthening the reader's foundational knowledge, and prepares them for more advanced study. Supported by an instructor's manual and online resources for students and instructors, available at www.blackwellpublishing.com/carnie. (shrink)
This volumes aim is to provide an introduction to Carnaps book from a historical and philosophical perspective, each chapter focusing on one specific issue. The book will be of interest not only to Carnap scholars but to all those interested in the history of analytical philosophy.
Why do speakers of all languages use different grammatical structures under different communicative circumstances to express the same idea? In this comprehensive study, Professor Lambrecht explores the relationship between the structure of sentences and the linguistic and extra-linguistic contexts in which they are used. His analysis is based on the observation that the structure of a sentence reflects a speaker's assumptions about the hearer's state of knowledge and consciousness at the time of the utterance. This relationship between speaker assumptions and (...) formal sentence structure is governed by rules and conventions of grammar, in a component called 'information structure'. Four independent but interrelated categories are analysed: presupposition and assertion, identifiability and activation, topic, and focus. (shrink)
This is the first book to approach depictive secondary predication - a hot topic in syntax and semantics research - from a crosslinguistic perspective. It maps out all the relevant phenomena and brings together critical surveys and new contributions on their morphosyntactic and semantic properties.
In this interpretive analysis, Ravin argues that thematic roles are not valid semantic entities, and that syntax and semantics are indeed autonomous and independent of one another. Suggesting a decompositional approach to lexical semantics in the spirit of Katz's semantic theory, the book considers such theoretical issues as indeterminacy and ambiguity, lexical configuration rules, and lexical projection, and analyzes the semantic content of event concepts such as causation, action, and change.
Is native speaker variation in understanding complex sentences due to individual differences in working memory capacity or in syntactic competence? The answer to this question has very important consequences for both theoretical and applied concerns in linguistics and education. This book is distinctive in giving an historical and interdisciplinary perspective on the rule- based and experience-based debate and in supporting an integrated account. In the study reported here, variation was found to be due to differences in syntactic competence and the (...) author argues that sentence comprehension is a learned skill, displaying many of the general characteristics of cognitive skills. The book will be stimulating reading for psycholinguists, theoretical linguists, applied linguists and educators. (shrink)
A study on minimalist syntax develops an empirical argument for a crash-proof computational system. A crash-proof system is obtained if syntactic dependencies are strictly local (i.e. there is no long-distance Agree). Apparent long-distance dependencies turn out to be the outcome of a recursive chain on local complex dependencies. This framework allows for novel analyses of quirky subjects in Icelandic and Spanish, indefinite SE in Spanish and different types of expletive constructions in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Icelandic.
Possession and transitivity -- The indirect object, its status and place -- Categories and arguments -- The active-passive configuration -- Verbal affixation -- Why Kaatje was not heard sing a song (with Hans Bennis) -- T-chains and auxiliaries (with Jacqueline Guéron) -- Clitics in romance and the study of head-movement -- ECP, tense and islands -- Bracketing paradoxes do not exist (with Harry van der Hulst and Frans van der Putten) -- The nominal infinitive (with Pim Wehrmann) -- Parallels between (...) nominal and verbal projections -- Complex verbs (with Monic Lansu and Marion Westerduin) -- Small clauses everywhere. (shrink)
In recent decades, many theories of formal semantics of natural language have undergone what can be called a dynamic turn: they have moved from treating language as a static system to considering it 'in action' and to taking meanings as crucially involving 'context-change potentials'. The theories, however, usually concentrate much more on the hows of the turn than on its whys and as a result, the conceptual foundations of dynamic semantics are much less elaborated than its technical side. This book, (...) based on a conference held in Prague in September 2001, is a contribution to filling this gap: it consists of papers addressing, from various sides, the foundational questions of the dynamic theories of meaning. It includes contributions of writers who are commonly held as authorities concerning the turn, who, however, here concentrate more on the why's than on the how's of dynamic semantics. Hence the book should be of interest both for those who want to know what the turn is about, and for those who are not satisfied with knowing the technical side of dynamic semantics and want to know its point. (shrink)
An approach to argument macrostructure -- The dialectical nature of argument -- Toulmin's problematic notion of warrant -- The linked-convergent distinction, a first approximation -- Argument structure and disciplinary perspective : the linked-convergent versus multiple-co-ordinatively compound distinctions -- The linked-convergent distinction, refining the criterion -- Argument structure and enthymemes -- From analysis to evaluation.
This book investigates the theory of locality within the framework of minimalism, with a special focus on restructuring and other related phenomena that exhibit an apparent violation of the strictly local conditions.