The Polysynthesis Parameter

The Polysynthesis Parameter

by Mark C. Baker

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The Polysynthesis Parameter by Mark C. Baker

This book investigates in detail the grammar of polysynthetic languages—those with very complex verbal morphology. Baker argues that polysynthesis is more than an accidental collection of morphological processes; rather, it is a systematic way of representing predicate-argument relationships that is parallel to but distinct from the system used in languages like English. Having repercussions for many areas of syntax and related aspects of morphology and semantics, this argument results in a comprehensive picture of the grammar of polysynthetic languages. Baker draws on examples from Mohawk and certain languages of the American Southwest, Mesoamerica, Australia, and Siberia.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195093087
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 12/28/1996
Series: Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 576
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.22(d)

Table of Contents

1.Introduction: Of Parameters and Polysynthesis3
1.1Geniuses and Parameters6
1.2An Initial Acquaintance with Mohawk9
1.3Toward a Macroparameter14
1.4Preliminary Evidence for the MVC19
1.5Other Implications and Prospectus23
1.6On Morphological Structure and Syntactic Structure27
Part INonconfigurationality
2.The Position of NPs41
2.1All NPs Are Adjuncts43
2.1.1Disjoint Reference Effects43
2.1.2The Absence of NP Anaphors49
2.1.3The Absence of Nonreferential Quantified NPs53
2.1.4Interrogative Constructions66
2.1.5CED Effects73
2.1.6Weak Crossover Effects77
2.2Why NPs Cannot Be in Argument Position83
3.The Licensing of NPs96
3.1Similarities with Clitic Left Dislocation98
3.1.1The Necessity of a Null Pronoun98
3.1.2The NP Is Adjoined100
3.1.3The NP Is Part of a Chain102
3.1.4The NP Is Not Moved110
3.1.5The Adjunct Licensing Condition111
3.2Differences: I. Possible Adjunction Sites113
3.2.1Left Adjunction vs. Right Adjunction114
3.2.2The Category of the Adjoined-to Phrase118
3.2.3Intonational Evidence121
3.3Differences: II. Features of the Adjoined NP121
4.Discontinuous Constituents138
4.1The Nature of the Problem138
4.2Floated Quantifiers144
4.2.1All-type Quantifiers144
4.2.2A Lot-type Quantifiers152
4.3Operator Constructions158
4.3.1Split Interrogatives158
4.3.2Relative Clauses: Internally Headed and Otherwise162
4.3.3Split Demonstratives176
Part IIWord Structure and Phrase Structure
5.Agreement and Clause Structure189
5.2Case and the Number of Agreement Morphemes192
5.2.1Basic Verb Types193
5.2.2The Location of Agreement198
5.2.3Reflexive Verbs199
5.3Arguments Without Agreement203
5.4.The Form of Agreement211
5.4.1Lexically Determined Form212
5.4.2Configurationally Determined Form217
5.4.3Some Refinements224
5.4.4Agreement in Other Languages234
6.Agreement and the Structure of NP244
6.1.The R Argument244
6.1.1Noun Prefixes in Mohawk244
6.1.2Noun Prefixes in Other Languages248
6.1.3The Absence of Determiners252
6.2.Other NP-Internal Arguments257
6.2.1The Markedness of Possessor Agreement (Nichols' Problem)257
6.2.2Why Possessor Agreement Is Marked260
6.2.3Dependent-Marked Possessors262
6.2.4Head-Marked Possessors265
6.2.5Noun Complements271
7.Noun Incorporation279
7.1.The Cross-linguistic Distribution of NI280
7.1.1Why Some Languages Cannot Have NI280
7.1.2How NI Satisfies the MVC283
7.2The Semantics of NI287
7.3.The Language-Internal Distribution of NI291
7.3.1The Basic Generalization291
7.3.2Problems With the Previous Analysis295
7.3.3Goal Incorporation297
7.3.4Theme Incorporation300
7.3.5Agent Incorporation303
7.4The Syntactic Nature of NI306
7.4.1A Preliminary Comparison307
7.4.2Agreement and the Null Argument314
7.4.3Disjoint Reference Effects320
7.4.4NI and Questions322
7.4.5NI and Agreement in Other Languages326
8.Complex Predicates338
8.1Limitations on Possessor Raising339
8.2Morphological Causatives348
8.2.1Limitations on the Mohawk Causative348
8.2.2The "Light" Causative Construction352
8.2.3Causatives in Other Languages361
8.3Control Constructions374
8.3.1The Mohawk Purposive374
8.3.2Other Languages380
8.3.3Distinguishing Control From LVCs383
8.4Adjectival Predicates and Possessor Raising384
Part IIINonnominal Categories
9.Adpositional Phrases399
9.1The Internal Structure of PPs400
9.1.1The Argument Structure of the P400
9.1.2The P-Complement Relation405
9.1.3The Possessor of the Complement410
9.2The External Distribution of PPs414
9.2.1The Impossibility of PP Arguments416
9.2.2The Licensing of Adjunct PPs422
9.2.3The Null Adposition424
9.3Applicative Constructions426
9.3.1Higher-Predicate Applicatives432
9.3.2Adpositional Applicatives439
10.Embedded Clauses452
10.1.The Distribution of Argument Clauses452
10.1.1Clausal Subjects454
10.1.2Clausal Complements458
10.1.4Predicting the Patterns469
10.2.The Internal Structure of Clauses471
10.2.1The Absence of Infinitives472
10.2.2Alleged Examples of Infinitives475
10.2.3Implications for Control484
11.Conclusion: On the Nature of Parameterization496
11.1Is There a Macroparameter?496
11.2Are There Other Macroparameters?504
11.3Why Are There Macroparameters?506
11.3.1A Biological Explanation508
11.3.2A Sociological Explanation510
11.3.3A Theological Explanation512
Appendix A.Abbreviations517
Appendix B.Orthography and Pronunciation522
Appendix C.Sources and Methods524

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