Asymmetry in Grammar
2 Volumes (set)
University of Quebec at Montreal
ISBN 9789027227836 (Eur) | EUR 255.00
ISBN 9781588113207 (USA) | USD 383.00
Volume I, Syntax and Semantics
of Asymmetry in Grammar
brings to fore the centrality of asymmetry in DP, VP and CP. A finer grained articulation of the DP is proposed, and further functional projections for restrictive relatives, as well as a refined analyses of case identification and presumptive pronouns. The papers on VP discuss further asymmetries among arguments, and between arguments and adjuncts. Double-object constructions, specificational copula sentences, secondary predicates, and the scope properties of adjuncts are discussed in this perspective. The papers on CP propose a further articulation of the phrasal projection, justifications for Remnant IP movement, and an analysis of variation in clause structure asymmetries. The papers in semantics support the hypothesis that interpretation is a function of configurational asymmetry. The type/token information difference is further argued to correspond to the partition between the upper and lower level of the phrase. It is also proposed that Point of View Roles are not primitives of the pragmatic component, but are head-dependent categories. Configurationality is further argued to be required to distinguish contrastive from non-contrastive Topic. Compositionality is proposed to explain cross-linguistic variations in the selectional behavior of typologically different languages.
The second volume, Morphology, Phonology and Acquisition presents evidence that asymmetry, as a property of linguistic relations, is salient in grammar. The papers in morphology bring further evidence for the centrality of asymmetry in word-structure. It is shown that asymmetry is part of the internal structure of functional constructs such as determiners and complementizers, as it is the case for lexical constructs. Further evidence is presented for the asymmetry of prefixes in verb structure. A typology of formal objects based on the distinction between maximal and minimal categories is formulated. It is proposed that Formal Complexity drives the change from synthetic to analytic expressions. The papers in phonology point to the fact that asymmetry is part of that linguistic dimension in terms of processes that eliminates symmetric relations, in terms of head-dependency relations, in terms of relative scope of the distinctive features in any inventory, in terms of universal principles in combination with certain language specific choices. Moreover, the papers on acquisition bring to fore experimental data that point to the same direction. The asymmetry of grammatical relations provides the form of the initial state of language that enables the child to cope with the poverty of the stimulus.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
“Anna Maria Di Sciullo has assembled a remarkable collection of papers that contribute, in highly varied ways, to the "asymmetry project" that she has been conducting. They offer many fascinating insights and ideas, which will doubtless stimulate a great deal of valuable inquiry.”
Noam Chomsky, MIT Cambridge