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  • The grammar of raising and control: A course in syntactic argumentation
  • Ida Toivonen
The grammar of raising and control: A course in syntactic argumentation. By William D. Davies and Stanley Dubinsky. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2004. Pp. xi, 383. ISBN 0631233024. $45.95.

The phenomena of raising and control have, together and separately, been the topic of a very large number of publications within the general school of thought that we call generative grammar. In The grammar of raising and control: A course in syntactic argumentation, William D. Davies and Stanley Dubinsky guide the reader through the various analyses of raising and control that have been proposed from standard theory up until the present.

The book consists of thirteen chapters, which are organized in four units, as well as author and subject indices. Unit 1, 'Classic transformational grammar', contains five chapters. Ch. 1 is a short introduction to raising and control, including an overview of the classic tests by which the phenomena can be teased apart. Already in this chapter, D&D point out that the picture is not as neat and tidy as it first may seem: evidence from French, first presented by Ruwet (1991), serves to illustrate that it is not always possible to appeal to syntactic diagnostics to identify and distinguish between raising and control. Ch. 2 introduces standard theory and presents Robert Lees's and Peter Rosenbaum's analyses of raising. Ch. 3 discusses Paul Postal's (1974) book, On raising, which is perhaps the most important and most comprehensive work to date on raising. In Ch. 4, we are introduced to Noam Chomsky's extended standard theory, which eliminates raising-to-object. Extended standard theory also replaces the notion of a deleted equivalent NP with a base-generated 'controlled' PRO. As Postal's book contains a number of arguments for raising-to-object, Chs. 3 and 4 give the reader insight into an exciting exchange of views. The [End Page 880] excitement is turned up a notch or two in Ch. 5, where the 'On raising' debates are covered. Bresnan takes the extended standard theory position that the infinitival subject stays in situ in so-called raising-to-object constructions. Postal responds. Bach points to a third possibility: it is actually possible that the NP in question is base-generated in the matrix object position.

In Unit 2, 'Extensions and reinterpretations of standard theory', D&D draw our attention to the array of new approaches to syntax that emerged in the 1970s. The two chapters included in the unit specifically focus on David Perlmutter and Postal's relational grammar (Ch. 6) and Chomsky's revised extended standard theory (Ch. 7). The basic formal mechanisms and theoretical assumptions are presented, and it is also explained how raising and control are analyzed in the respective frameworks. The treatments of raising-to-object illustrate the formal differences as well as the differences in theoretical assumptions between relational grammar and revised extended standard theory. Relational grammar of course does not adopt the formal mechanism of movement, but nevertheless assumes that the 1 ('subject') of the embedded clause ascends to hold a 2-relation ('object' relation) in the matrix clause. In revised extended standard theory, as in extended standard theory, no movement is assumed: the deep subject is the surface subject in raising-to-object.

Much research within relational grammar focuses on the discovery and formulation of universal principles that identify and restrict certain phenomena (in particular, relation-changing operations) crosslinguistically. Universal principles similarly become the focus in the principles-and-parameters (P&P) framework within transformational grammar, which is the topic of Unit 3, 'Government and binding theory'. Unit 3 contains three chapters. Ch. 8 introduces Chomsky's government and binding (GB) model and the exceptional case marking (ECM) account of raising-to-object. Within GB, it is assumed that every NP must be assigned (abstract) case, according to certain restrictions on what a potential case assigner is and how case can be assigned. Under the ECM account of raising-to-object, the matrix verb 'exceptionally' assigns accusative case to the embedded subject across a clause boundary. Ch. 9 discusses the limited success of applying an ECM analysis...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 880-882
Launched on MUSE
2009-01-07
Open Access
No
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