The Minimalist Syntax of Defective Domains
Gerunds and infinitives
Acrisio Pires | University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
This book unifies the analysis of certain non-finite domains, focusing on subject licensing, agreement, and Case and control. It proposes a minimalist analysis of English gerunds which allows only a null subject PRO (TP-defective gerunds), a lexical subject (gerunds as complements of perception verbs), or both types of subjects (clausal gerunds). It then analyzes Portuguese infinitives, showing that the morphosyntactic properties of non-inflected and inflected infinitives correlate with distinct treatments of obligatory and non-obligatory control. It explores these and other phenomena to show that tense and event binding do not correlate with the contrast between control and raising/exceptional case marking (ECM), against null Case theories of control. A Probe-Goal approach to Case and agreement is adopted in combination with a movement analysis of control. The book then investigates diachronic morphosyntactic phenomena involving infinitives, verb movement and cliticization in Portuguese, exploring a cue-based theory of syntactic change grounded in language acquisition.
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today, 98] 2006. xiv, 188 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments | pp. xi–xii
Abbreviations and symbols | pp. xiii–xiv
Introduction | pp. 1–14
1. The minimalist syntax of clausal gerunds | pp. 15–69
2. Clausal versus TP-defective gerunds: Control without tense | pp. 70–90
3. Agreement, case, control and movement in infinitives | pp. 91–124
4. Syntactic change: The development of inflected and non-inflected infinitives | pp. 125–165
Conclusion | pp. 166–167
References | pp. 168–179
Index | pp. 181–188
“Acrisio Pires's new study is an important contribution to our understanding of deficient clausal domains as manifested in gerunds and (inflected) infinitives, with many original insights into the structural analysis and historical development of this elusive syntactic category.”
Jan-Wouter Zwart, University of Groningen
“Pires offers an insightful analysis of an old problem area, gerunds, which uses the central concepts of the Minimalist Program in productive fashion. In so doing, it yields understanding of gerunds and of the Minimalist Program. Another striking feature of the book is that it unifies syntactic analysis with questions of acquisition and of the triggering experience for the proposed analysis in young children. ALL syntactic analysis should discuss acquisitional triggers these days, but this is a rare book in doing it so well.”
David W. Lightfoot, National Science Foundation
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LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General