Constituent Structure

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, 2010 - Computers - 302 pages
1 Review
This book explores the empirical and theoretical aspects of constituent structure in natural language syntax. It surveys a wide variety of functionalist and formalist theoretical approaches, from dependency grammars and Relational Grammar to Lexical Functional Grammar, Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, and Minimalism. It describes the traditional tests for constituency and the formal means for representing them in phrase structure grammars, extended phrase structure grammars,X-bar theory, and set theoretic bare phrase structure. In doing so it provides a clear, thorough, and rigorous axiomatic description of the structural properties of constituent trees.Andrew Carnie considers the central controversies on constituent structure. Is it, for example, a primitive notion or should it be derived from relational or semantic form? Do sentences have a single constituency or multiple constituencies? Does constituency operate on single or multiple dimensions? And what exactly is the categorial content of constituent structure representations? He identifies points of commonality as well as important theoretical differences among the various approaches toconstituency, and critically examines the strengths and limitations of competing frameworks.This new edition includes textual revisions as well as a new final chapter and ensures that Constituent Structure remains the definitive guide to constituency for advanced undergraduates and graduate students, as well as theoretical linguists of all persuasions in departments of linguistics, cognitive science, computational science, and related fields.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2010)


Andrew Carnie is Professor of Lingusitics at the University of Arizona. His 1995 dissertation proposed that the traditional distinction between phrases and words is derived and falls out from the interfaces of the syntax with the morphological and semantic components. His publications include the successful textbook Syntax: A Generative Introduction (Blackwell, 2002) and, as co-editor, The Syntax of VSO Languages (OUP, 2002), Formal Approaches to Function (Benjamins, 2003), Verb First (Benjamins, 2005), and Irish Nouns: A Reference Guide (OUP, 2008), as well as articles in theoretical syntax in such journals as Syntax, Journal of Celtic Linguistics, Studia Linguistica, Journal of Linguistics, and Canadian Journal of Linguistics.