In this article, we argue that, under current conceptions of the architecture
of the grammar, apparent wh-dependencies can, in principle, arise
from either a movement or a base-generation strategy, where Agree
establishes the syntactic connection in the latter case. The crucial diagnostics
are not locality effects, but identity effects. We implement the
base-generation analysis using a small set of semantically interpretable
features, together with a simple universal syntax-semantics correspondence.
We show that parametric variation arises because of the different
ways the features are bundled on functional heads. We further
argue that it is the bundling of two features on a single lexical item,
together with the correspondence that requires them to be interpreted
apart, that is responsible for the displacement property of human languages.
relatives, movement, base generation, syntax-semantics interface,
We examine the puzzling displacement in various Spanish dialects
of a plural suffix from a verb where it is motivated semantically,
syntactically,and morphologically onto a following clitic. We present
previously unreported data and a new analysis of this material that
succeeds where earlier efforts fail to provide a unified account of
related phenomena. Our solution,which employs recent work on reduplication
and metathesis,allows us to account for seemingly disparate
phenomena as special cases of a single general framework and
demonstrates that these operations are more versatile than previously
thought. Directions for future research are indicated.
Category Preservation and Proximity versus Phonetic Approximation in Loanword Adaptation [Access article in PDF] Subject Headings:
Language and languages -- Foreign words and phrases.
In this article, we argue that loanword adaptation is overwhelmingly
phonological and that phonetic approximation plays a limited role in
the sound changes that loanwords undergo. Explicit criteria are used
to compare the predictions of the phonetic approximation and phonological
stances against 12 large corpora of recent English and French
loanwords in several different languages. We show that category proximity
is overwhelmingly preferred over perceptual proximity and that
typical L2 perception/interpretation errors are not reflected in the adaptations
of the loanwords of this database. Borrowers accurately identify
L2 sound categories, operating on the mental representation of an L2
sound, not directly on its surface phonetic form.
Two familiar ideas in the theory of binding are explored: that semantic
binding is preferred over coreference (Reinhart 1983) and that (pronoun)
binding seeks the closest antecedent (Fox 2000). It is shown
that both proposals, when combined, yield an alternative and arguably
simpler approach to the co-binding facts discussed by Heim (1993),
but that neither alone does (contrary to what is suggested in Fox 2000).
Then a unification of both ideas is proposed. Interestingly, the resulting
system no longer entails one of Heim's (1993) conclusions, namely,
that (co)reference must be marked by syntactic (co)indexing.
Overwriting is modeled in Optimality Theory as a competition for a
position within the derivational base (Alderete et al. 1999, Ussishkin
1997). Faithfulness constraints that are evaluated on the basis of segment
counting predict a typology of languages in which (a) optimization
dictates that the relative size of the affixal material determines
whether it will win out and "overwrite" the base, and (b) optimization
ensures that if both the affix and base material can surface without
incurring phonotactic violations, this should be optimal. Both predictions
are wrong. Hebrew denominal verb formation and Hindi echo
reduplication demonstrate cases of nonconcatenative derivation in
which overwriting is better understood as rule-induced change.