Edge-Based Clausal Syntax
A Study of (Mostly) English Object Structure
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: The MIT Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
Download PDF (32.1 KB)
Download PDF (38.5 KB)
Chomsky (1965, 70) defines a direct object structurally as [NP, VP]. Similarly, in introductory linguistics courses, the direct object is simply defined as the DP sister of V. In this book, Postal argues conclusively that this simple picture cannot be right. ...
Download PDF (33.7 KB)
When one initially examines some area of the syntax of a natural language, it often seems to manifest what might be called descriptive chaos. For instance, expressions that seem to have parallel meanings and standard syntactic structures nonetheless manifest contrastive syntactic behavior in a variety of ways. ...
Download PDF (19.7 KB)
The substance of this book owes a great deal to a number of people. In particular, it would be hard to exaggerate the influence of David Johnson. The basic architecture of the book represents a version of the ideas we developed jointly in the late 1970s and published as Johnson and Postal 1980. ...
Download PDF (538.8 KB)
A framework for theorizing about the grammar of a natural language (NL) can be thought of as an abstract barrel containing linguistic concepts and principles applicable to formulating accounts of particular constructions. For example, the long-dominant barrel representing the various generative ...
2. Objects and Arrays
Download PDF (110.2 KB)
The English dictionary tradition assumes a binary subcategorization of verbs into transitive and intransitive. So Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language (1968) says that the verb star occurs in both subcategories, referring, I believe, to usages like (2.1a,b), and also says that the verb claim is exclusively transitive, …
3. Double Object Structures
Download PDF (313.7 KB)
I begin to address more directly the complex issue of double object (ditransitive) structures illustrated by (3.1a) and (3.2a) and the common (though not invariably possible) alternations of the first object with prepositionally marked ones, as in (3.1b) and (3.2b). ...
4. Periphrastic and Nonperiphrastic Passives
Download PDF (524.1 KB)
In previous chapters, I have argued for a three-way division among English objects, distinguishing 2 objects, 3 objects, and 4 objects, each of which can occur as a single object; and I have claimed that ditransitive clauses manifest a surface 3 object and 4 object, in that order, ...
5. Passivization Targets: I
Download PDF (260.7 KB)
This chapter focuses on the issue of what active clause DPs can ‘‘feed’’ the existence of passive clauses, more precisely, what active clause DPs can correspond to the final 1s of grammatical periphrastic passive (and middle) clauses. It might seem that via condition (4.62), the question for middles has already been answered. ...
6. Passivization Targets: II
Download PDF (172.2 KB)
Condition (5.39) determines that it is theoretically impossible for an English 2 arc cooccurring with a final 3 arc to be a prepassive arc of either type. The theoretical consequence that English ditransitive clauses cannot, under present assumptions, have periphrastic 2 object passive or middle correspondents is highly desirable ...
7. Passivization Targets: III
Download PDF (119.2 KB)
Even taking these conclusions as established, however, provides only the beginning of an account of English passives. Here, I focus on a more refined characterization of English periphrastic passivization targets, seeking to explain restrictions unaccounted for by previous assumptions, specifically, those in (7.1). ...
8. Visser’s Generalization
Download PDF (336.3 KB)
As understood in past literature, Visser’s Generalization (VG), stated informally, expresses a relation between (1) control by the 1 (in some sense) of a main clause C of the final 1 of a complement clause of C and (2) passivization in C. It states that these two phenomena are incompatible (see, e.g., Bach 1979; Bresnan 1978, 1982a, 354; ...
9. Clauses with That Clause Complements
Download PDF (173.6 KB)
This chapter focuses on the analysis of various clauses having that clause complements, especially those containing as well what seem to be 3 objects. The goal is to show that the ideas already introduced provide explanatory bases or at least effective descriptive possibilities for various puzzling restrictions. ...
10. Results, If Any
Download PDF (31.1 KB)
The previous nine chapters of this work are too long and complex and deal with too many issues and assumptions to permit any reasonably complete summary of what may have been achieved. Suffice it to say that I have sought both to outline a general theoretic framework in which an NL grammar is a nongenerative, model-theoretic system ...
Download PDF (172.7 KB)
Download PDF (90.6 KB)
Download PDF (27.3 KB)
Download PDF (52.9 KB)
Page Count: 488
Publication Year: 2010