Flexible Syntax

Flexible Syntax : A Theory of Case and Arguments

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Most linguistic theories assume that each grammatical relation is established in a unique structural configuration. Neeleman and Weerman take issue with this view, arguing for a more flexible approach on the basis of conceptual considerations and data taken mostly, but not exclusively, from the Germanic languages. In-depth analyses of word order phenomena as well as diachronic and typological generalizations motivate a re-evaluation of the role of case in the projection of arguments. Case is shown to provide a syntactic foothold for thematic interpretation, something which is necessary in a grammar that does not allow fixed theta-positions. Thus, this study does not only offer a genuine alternative to many standard assumptions, it also explains why there should be such a thing as case in natural language.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 253 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 17.78mm | 340.19g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • New edition
  • Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1999
  • XI, 253 p.
  • 0792371992
  • 9780792371991

Table of contents

1: Prologue.- 1. Introduction.- 2. Case Theory.- 3. ?-Theory.- 4. Word Order.- 5. Overview.- Bibliographical Note.- 2: The OV/VO Parameter.- 1. Introduction.- 2. The Domain of ?-role Assignment.- 3. The Domains of Head Government.- 4. The Formation of VP Shells.- 5. Particles.- 6. Scrambling.- 7. Double Object Constructions.- 8. Exceptional Case Marking.- 9. Concluding Remarks.- 3: Morphological Case.- 1. Introduction.- 2. Asymmetries between Nominative and Case.- 2.1 Agreement.- 2.2 Case Affixes.- 2.3 Selection.- 2.4 Case Attraction.- 2.5 Acquisition.- 3. Syntactic Effects of Morphological Case.- 3.1 Complementation.- 3.2 VO-leakages.- 3.3 Scrambling across Arguments.- 3.4 Quirky Subjects.- 4. Toward a Theory of Case Features.- 4.1 The Organization of Case Paradigms.- 4.2 Morphological Case in German.- 4.3 Morphological Case in Icelandic.- 5. Concluding Remarks.- 4: Prepositional Complements.- 1. Introduction.- 2. The Problem.- 3. Indirect ?-Role Assignment.- 4. LF Incorporation.- 5. Empirical Consequences.- 5.1 PP Subjects.- 5.2 PP Complements and Case.- 5.3 Idiomatic Selection.- 5.4 PP-DP Coordination.- 5.5 Double PP Constructions.- 5.6 Excursus on the Distribution of Selected PPs.- 6. PP Complements to Nouns.- 7. Concluding Remarks.- 5: Raising to Subject.- 1. Introduction.- 2. ?-Role Promotion as A'-Movement.- 3. NP Raising as Null Operator Movement.- 3.1 Designing a Trigger.- 3.2 Case Absorption.- 3.3 Raising to ?-Positions.- 3.4 Raising of Non-Arguments.- 3.5 Raising to Object Positions.- 3.6 Coordination.- 4. Short versus Long Null Operator Movement.- 4.1 Supervising.- 4.2 Non-Competing Derivations.- 4.3 Cyclicity.- 5. Improper Movement.- 6. Concluding Remarks.- 6: Head Marking.- 1. Introduction.- 2. Head-Marking Affixes.- 3. Absolutive-Ergative Languages.- 3.1 The Ergativity Parameter.- 3.2 Empirical Consequences.- 4. VSO Languages.- 4.1 The VSO Parameter.- 4.2 Japanese Nominatives.- 5. The Linearization of Subjects.- 5.1 Anaphoric Dependence.- 5.2 Nominative-Dative Inversion.- 5.3 Expletives.- 5.4 Locative Inversion.- 6. Concluding Remarks.- 7: Epilogue.- 1. Introduction.- 2. Falsifiability.- 3. Flexibility.- References.
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Review quote

`This book presents very innovative and original ideas, and an impressive variety of data and problems to be accounted for.'
Alex Alsina
`I enjoyed the book a lot and found it very stimulating. In my opinion, it is a very good piece of work.'
Denis Bouchard
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