Syntactic Relations: A Critical Survey by P. H. Matthews | 9780521608299 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Syntactic Relations: A Critical Survey

Syntactic Relations: A Critical Survey

by P. H. Matthews
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521608295

ISBN-13: 9780521608299

Pub. Date: 01/28/2007

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Accounts of syntax are usually based on two assumptions: firstly, that a sentence comprises a hierarchy of phrases, forming a 'tree' structure; and secondly, that phrases have 'heads', on which subordinate units depend. These fundamental assumptions are questioned in this critical new survey, which argues that neither concept is as important as is claimed, and that

Overview

Accounts of syntax are usually based on two assumptions: firstly, that a sentence comprises a hierarchy of phrases, forming a 'tree' structure; and secondly, that phrases have 'heads', on which subordinate units depend. These fundamental assumptions are questioned in this critical new survey, which argues that neither concept is as important as is claimed, and that syntactic relations are in fact far more varied.

Drawing on data from English as well as other major European languages, it summarises earlier accounts of syntactic structure and looks at the different ways in which specific constructions have been described - the subject of much disagreement between linguists. It explores the problems faced by particular analyses, and raises the question of whether syntax should be made simpler than it is. Suitable for non-specialists and complete with a clear and useful glossary, Syntactic Relations will become an essential and thought-provoking read for students and researchers in linguistic theory.

About the Author:
P. H. Matthews is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics and Fellow of St John's College, University of Cambridge

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521608299
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/28/2007
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Linguistics Series, #114
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
222
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.51(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Introduction     1
Relations     1
Where shall we start?     9
What beginners are told     11
The doctrine of phrases     11
What is a head?     23
Heads and dependents     27
Dominance     27
Where arguments are complementary     30
Markers     35
'Complementisers'     39
Prepositions     49
Verb phrases     55
Must phrases have heads?     61
'Determiners'     61
Determiners and pronouns     69
Where does this lead us?     75
'Universals'     78
What is universal?     81
Asymmetries     90
Types of construction     90
One head or two?     95
Types of dominance     100
Subjects     104
Constituents     110
Phrase structure     110
Phrase structure and dependency     112
How far is there equivalence?     115
Layering in noun phrases     119
Why should constituency be thought fundamental?     126
Structures andcategories     133
'Movement'     137
Must constructions reduce to tree structures?     143
How reduction is achieved     143
Compositionality     149
Group-verbs     156
Complex predications     159
'Small clauses'     163
Coordination     169
Simplicity     178
Should syntax not be simpler?     178
'Theories'     181
Glossary     186
References     199
Index     205

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