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Linguistic Inquiry Monographs

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Linguistic Inquiry Monographs

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Agreement and Head Movement

Clitics, Incorporation, and Defective Goals

Ian Roberts

An argument that, contrary to Chomsky, head-movement is part of the narrow syntax.

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Agreement and Its Failures

Omer Preminger

In this book, Omer Preminger investigates how the obligatory nature of predicate-argument agreement is enforced by the grammar. Preminger argues that an empirically adequate theory of predicate-argument agreement requires recourse to an operation, whose obligatoriness is a grammatical primitive not reducible to representational properties, but whose successful culmination is not enforced by the grammar. Preminger's argument counters contemporary approaches that find the obligatoriness of predicate-argument agreement enforced through representational means. The most prominent of these is Chomsky's "interpretability"-based proposal, in which the obligatoriness of predicate-argument agreement is enforced through derivational time bombs. Preminger presents an empirical argument against contemporary approaches that seek to derive the obligatory nature of predicate-argument agreement exclusively from derivational time bombs. He offers instead an alternative account based on the notion of obligatory operations better suited to the facts. The crucial data involves utterances that inescapably involve attempted-but-failed agreement and are nonetheless fully grammatical. Preminger combines a detailed empirical investigation of agreement phenomena in the Kichean (Mayan) languages, Zulu (Bantu), Basque, Icelandic, and French with an extensive and rigorous theoretical exploration of the far-reaching consequences of these data. The result is a novel proposal that has profound implications for the formalism that the theory of grammar uses to derive obligatory processes and properties.

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Arguments as Relations

John Bowers

A radically new approach to argument structure in the minimalist program.

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Classical NEG Raising

An Essay on the Syntax of Negation

Chris Collins

In this book, Chris Collins and Paul Postal consider examples such the one below on the interpretation where Nancy thinks that this course is not interesting: <I>Nancy doesn't think this course is interesting</I>.They argue such examples instantiate a kind of syntactic raising that they term Classical NEG Raising. This involves the raising of a NEG (negation) from the embedded clause to the matrix clause. Collins and Postal develop three main arguments to support their claim. First, they show that Classical NEG Raising obeys island constraints. Second, they document that a syntactic raising analysis predicts both the grammaticality and particular properties of what they term Horn clauses (named for Laurence Horn, who discovered them). Finally, they argue that the properties of certain <I>parenthetical</I> structures strongly support the syntactic character of Classical NEG Raising. Collins and Postal also offer a detailed analysis of the main argument in the literature against a syntactic raising analysis (which they call the Composed Quantifier Argument). They show that the facts appealed to in this argument not only fail to conflict with their approach but actually support a syntactic view. In the course of their argument, Collins and Postal touch on a variety of related topics, including the syntax of negative polarity items, the status of sequential negation, and the scope of negative quantifiers.

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Localism versus Globalism in Morphology and Phonology

David Embick

An argument that patterns of allomorphy reveal that morphology and phonology behave in a way that provides evidence for a Localist theory of grammar.

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Locality in Vowel Harmony

Andrew Nevins

A view of the locality conditions on vowel harmony, aligning empirical phenomena within phonology with the principles of the Minimalist program.

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Provocative Syntax

Phil Branigan

A new theory of syntactic movement within a Chomskyan framework.

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Subjunctive Conditionals

A Linguistic Analysis

Michela Ippolito

In this book, Michela Ippolito proposes a compositional semantics for subjunctive (or would) conditionals in English that accounts for their felicity conditions and the constraints on the satisfaction of their presuppositions by capitalizing on the occurrence of past tense morphology in both antecedent and consequent clauses. Very little of the extensive literature on subjunctive conditionals tries to account for the meaning of these sentences compositionally or to relate this meaning to their linguistic form; this book fills that gap, connecting the different lines of research on conditionals. Ippolito's proposal will be of interest both to linguists and to philosophers concerned with conditionals and modality more generally.Ippolito reviews previous analyses of counterfactuals and subjunctive conditionals in the work of David Lewis, Robert Stalnaker, Angelika Kratzer, and others; considers the contrast between future simple past subjunctive conditionals and future past perfect subjunctive conditionals; presents a proposal for subjunctive conditionals that addresses puzzles left unsolved by previous proposals; reviews a number of presupposition triggers showing that they fit the pattern predicted by her proposal; and discusses an asymmetry between the past and the future among subjunctive conditionals, arguing that the best account of our linguistic intuitions must include an indeterministic view of the world.

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The Syntax of Adjectives

A Comparative Study

Guglielmo Cinque

A new analysis of adjectives, supported by comparative evidence.

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A Syntax of Substance

David Adger

A new approach to grammar and meaning of relational nouns is presented along with its empirical consequences.

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