Heads in Grammatical Theory

Heads in Grammatical Theory

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Contemporary linguistic theories distinguish the principal element of a phrase - the 'head' - from the subordinate elements it dominates. This pervasive grammatical concept has been used to describe and account for linguistic phenomena ranging from agreement and government to word order universals, but opinions differ widely on its precise definition. A key question is whether the head is not already identified by some other, more basic notion or interacting set of notions in linguistics. Heads in Grammatical Theory is the first book devoted to the subject. Providing a clear view of current research on heads, some of the foremost linguists in the field tackle the problems set by the assumptions of particular grammatical theories and offer insights which have relevance across theories. Questions considered include whether there is a theory-neutral definition of head, whether heads have cognitive reality, how to identify the head of a phrase, and whether there are any universal correlations between headedness and deletability.show more

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Table of contents

List of contributors; 1. Introduction Norman M. Fraser, Greville G. Corbett and Scott McGlashan; 2. The head of Russian numeral expressions Greville G. Corbett; 3. The phonology of heads in Haruai Bernard Comrie; 4. Patterns of headedness Ronnie Cann; 5. Head-hunting on the trail of the nominal Janus Andrew Radford; 6. The headedness of noun-phrases: slaying the nominal hydra John Payne; 7. Head- versus dependent-marking: the case of the clause Nigel Vincent; 8. Heads in discourse: structural versus functional centricity Johanna Nichols; 9. Heads in head-driven phrase structure grammar Robert D. Borsley; 10. Heads and lexical semantics Scott McGlashan; 11. Heads, parsing and word-order universals John A. Hawkins; 12. Do we have heads in our minds? Richard A. Hudson; 13. Heads, bases and functors Arnold M. Zwicky; References; Index.show more