This paper is a reply to Benjamin Bruening’s article ‘The lexicalist hypothesis: Both wrong and superfluous’, which appears in this volume of Language. Bruening claims that all phenomena that have been explained with reference to the notion word should be explained with reference to the X0/XP distinction. He claims that only phrases can be extracted, which would explain the island status of words (his X0). He also claims that coordination always affects full XPs, countering an earlier argument by Steve Wechsler and me. He argues for a phrasal analysis of resultative constructions and tries to support it by the claim that all arguments of nouns are optional, and hence a lexical analysis of resultative constructions that assumes that the result predicate is selected by the verb would make wrong claims when it comes to nominalizations, since one would expect that the result predicate can be omitted like other arguments in nominalizations can be.
I argue that Bruening’s X0/XP distinction cannot explain extraction differences since X0 can be extracted, that some arguments are indeed not optional in nominalizations, and that coordination may affect lexical items. I furthermore point out that morphological phenomena in languages other than English may need more machinery and different tools and that in the end it may be reasonable to assume that there is a morphology that is indeed different from syntax.