Chapter published in:Chapters of Dependency Grammar: A historical survey from Antiquity to Tesnière
Edited by András Imrényi and Nicolas Mazziotta
[Studies in Language Companion Series 212] 2020
► pp. 215–252
Chapter 7Some aspects of dependency in Otto Jespersen’s structural syntax
This paper aims to challenge the assumption according to which Otto Jespersen’s syntactic model represents an anticipation of the immediate constituent analysis. In our opinion, there are elements that rather align with a more dependency-oriented framework, as it is the case of Jespersen’s notorious theory of three ranks (1913, 1921, 1937). This was developed over more than twenty years and was meant to constitute the necessary presupposition (and thus the theoretical base) for the very distinction between junction and nexus, grounding it on a pure functional base. Albeit not always consistently or exhaustively fleshed out, the theory of three ranks represents one of Jespersen’s most interesting ideas. The model will be described in detail, focusing on the latest and more formalized version given in Analytic Syntax (1937), by discussing the notation adopted and checking if it fits the five basic requirements for a dependency-based model, as per Mazziotta & Kahane (2017). Finally, it will be shown how Jespersen’s model was taken over by Louis Hjelmslev (1928), in order to develop a purely relations-oriented morphosyntactic theory.
- 2.Basic structures
- 2.1Nexus and junction
- 2.2The functional model of ranks
- 2.2.3Verbs: Life-givers or trouble-makers?
- 3.Jespersen’s notation
- 3.4Node-to-word mapping
- 4.A case of critical reinterpretation
- 5.Concluding remarks
Published online: 06 February 2020
A. Primary sources
Gladkij, A. V.
B. Critical sources
Imrényi, A., & Vladár, Z.
(2001) Grammaire de dépendance formelles et théorie Sens-Texte. Tutoriel. In Actes de TALN 2001, Tours, 60 p. Retrieved from http://olst.ling.umontreal.ca/pdf/Kahane2001.pdf
Kahane, S., & Osborne, T.
Mazziotta, N., & Kahane, S.
Nelson Francis, W.
Cited by 1 other publications
Imrényi, András & Zsuzsa Vladár
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