A Syntax of Substance

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MIT Press, 2013 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 189 pages
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In A Syntax of Substance, David Adger proposes a new approach tophrase structure that eschews functional heads and labels structures exocentrically. His proposalsimultaneously simplifies the syntactic system and restricts the range of possible structures,ruling out the ubiquitous (remnant) roll-up derivations and forcing a separation of arguments fromtheir apparent heads. This new system has a number of empirical consequences, which Adger exploresin the domain of relational nominals across different language families, including Germanic,Romance, Celtic, Polynesian, and Semitic. He shows that the relationality of such nouns ashand, edge, or mother -- which seem to haveas part of their meaning a relation between substances -- is actually part of the syntacticrepresentation in which they are used rather than an inherent part of their meaning. This empiricaloutcome follows directly from the new syntactic system, as does a novel analysis of PP complementsto nouns and possessors. Given this, he argues that nouns can, in general, be thought of as simplyspecifications of substance, differentiating them from true predicates.

A Syntax of Substance offers an innovative contribution to debates in theoreticalsyntax about the nature of syntactic representations and how they connect to semantic interpretationand linear order.

The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket.

 

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Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction
1
Chapter 2 Labels and Structures
9
Chapter 3 Syntactic Interpretation
37
Chapter 4 Puzzles in the Syntax of Relational Nominals
51
Chapter 5 The PP Peripherality Generalization
91
Chapter 6 The Etiology of the PP Argument
135
Chapter 7 Conclusion
167
Notes
169
References
177
Index
187
Linguistic Inquiry Monographs
191
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About the author (2013)

David Adger is Professor of Linguistics at Queen Mary, University of London, and the author of Core Syntax: A Minimalist Approach.

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