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858LANGUAGE, VOLUME 73, NUMBER 4 (1997) As with all of Chomsky's work on the minimalist program, this article is provocative in the best sense of the word, but it is also hard to evaluate in its details since he does not demonstrate the superiority of his proposals over any others in dealing with a set of data. It should be noted that Chomsky is well aware of the minimal data coverage he provides. Indeed, he implies that this is an inevitable consequence of his attempt to imbue generative syntax with explanatory, rather than just descriptive, adequacy. This summary is intended to convey the many virtues of the volume: It is highly readable and well-organized; it offers an up-to-date introduction to generative syntax; and it identifies the most vigorous areas of current research within the framework. In all these ways, it effectively transmits enough of the tradition of generative grammar and its leading principles to capture what it is that gives coherence to the generative culture and furnishes the culture with its current vitality. In the process, this book also raises several issues which are paramount to determining the shape that generative syntax will take in the future including the nature of the lexicon, the level of descriptive adequacy necessary to sustain a syntactic theory, the role of functional heads in language, and the degree to which a syntactic theory should predict certain linguistic features to be common or rare cross-linguistically. REFERENCES Chomsky, Noam. 1991. Some notes on economy of derivation and representation. Principles and parameters in comparative grammar, ed. by Robert Freidin, 417-54. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. -----. 1992. A minimalist program for linguistic theory. The view from building 20: Essays in honor of Sylvain Bromberger, ed. by Kenneth Hale and S. J. Keyser, 1-52. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. -----. 1995. The minimalist program. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Cowper, Elizabeth. 1992. A concise introduction to syntactic theory: The government-binding approach. Chicago: University of Chicago Press Haegeman, Liliane. 1994. Introduction to government and binding theory, 2nd edn. Oxford: Blackwell. Lasnik, Howard, and Juan Uriagereka. 1988. A course in GB syntax: Lectures on binding and empty categories. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Napoli, Donna Jo. 1993. Syntax: Theory and problems. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Program in Linguistics and Cognitive Science Department of Classics Dartmouth College 6086 Reed Hanover, NH 03755 [lindsay.j.whaley@dartmouth.edu] English historical syntax: Verbal constructions. By David Denison. London & New York: Longman, 1993. Pp. xiv, 530. Reviewed by Robert P. Stockwell, University of California, Los Angeles This book is divided into five sections: (1) Groundwork—three chapters devoted to methodology , basic facts about the external history ofEnglish including spelling, and nominal morphology presented in the essentials needed to understand verbal argument structures. (2) Word order—a single long chapter on V-2, SOV, SVO, and theories concerning how English became the wordorder maverick that it is, among all the Germanic languages. (3) Subject and verb phrase—three chapters dealing with the (almost total) demise of impersonal constructions, questions about dative movement and the indirect passive, and the rise of the prepositional passive. (4) Complex complementation—two chapters dealing with verbs that have one sentential argument, specifically embedded clauses headed by an infinitive (control verbs, raising constructions, accusative plus infinitive). (5) Auxiliaries—the longest section of the book, slightly more than half of the entire volume, six chapters dealing with periphrastic do, modals, perfect, progressive, passive, REVIEWS859 and multiple auxiliaries. Each section begins with an eagle's view of the forest, a long ways up from the underbrush—and very helpful in finding one's way through this dense terrain. Most chapters begin witíi a clear statement of the problem, including terminology, followed by sometimes astonishingly detailed surveys of the data. These surveys are really excellent in two ways: (1) They include glosses, translations, date of occurrence, and edition in which the example is to be found. There is none of the regrettable practice, which began with Jespersen and infected Lightfoot, of making up examples such as 'The king likes pears' (in its various early nonmanifestations), and there can be no arguments about dating the examples or doubt about where they came from...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 858-860
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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