By David Adger

ISBN-10: 0199243700

ISBN-13: 9780199243709

This can be an creation to the constitution of sentences in human languages. It assumes no earlier wisdom of linguistic concept and little of hassle-free grammar. it is going to go well with scholars coming to syntactic conception for the 1st time both as graduates or undergraduates. it is going to even be valuable for these in fields akin to computational technological know-how, synthetic intelligence, or cognitive psychology who want a sound wisdom of present syntactic concept.

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Extra info for Core Syntax: A Minimalist Approach (Core Linguistics)

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MORPHOSYNTACTIC FEATURES 23 and they have tried to explain the fact that systems with dual numbers are cross-linguistically rarer than systems which just make a singular ∼ plural distinction by proposing that the presence of certain features in a language depends on the presence of others (see the reference section for sources). A closely related alternative to the view we have just been examining is to adopt the idea that features always have values, and that these values are binary. This means that a feature like singular will have the value [+] for a singular noun, and [–] for a plural noun: (30) man [+singular, –plural] (31) men [-singular, +plural] A language with dual forms will allow [+singular, +plural] as a possible feature bundle, and will have a general constraint ruling out [–singular, –plural] bundles cross-linguistically.

The interesting thing about these examples, is that they appear to have something missing. Compare these sentences to the following ones: (4) Frieda closed the door (5) Kane ate dirt. Traditionally, these sentences are said to have missing subjects (this is a notion we’ll come back to). There are, on the face of it, two obvious ways to think about these examples: • Hypothesis A: imperatives are just like other sentences, and have a subject but this subject is just not pronounced. CHAPTER 2. MORPHOSYNTACTIC FEATURES 45 • Hypothesis B: imperatives are not full sentences.

4 Motivating Features The way that we motivated the features discussed above ([singular], [plural]) was on the basis of the fact that (i) there were relations between the shapes of words (recall that these are termed morphological forms), and (ii) there was an effect on semantic interpretation. This is the soundest basis on which to motivate a feature. There are weaker ways to do it to: we can motivate a feature if there is a variation in morphological form that makes no difference to semantic interpretation (form without meaning); or if there is an effect on semantic interpretation, but none on morphological form (meaning without form); or even if there is an effect on neither semantic interpretation nor on morphological form, but the feature must be posited because a syntactic relation must be established or the wrong prediction about grammaticality will result (we shall see that some case features fall into CHAPTER 2.

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Core Syntax: A Minimalist Approach (Core Linguistics) by David Adger


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