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Constituent Structure
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Constituent Structure (Hardback)

£90.00
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Synopsis

This book explores the empirical and theoretical aspects of constituent structure in natural language syntax. It surveys a wide variety of functionalist and formalist theoretical approaches, from dependency grammars and Relational Grammar to Lexical Functional Grammar, Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, and Minimalism. It describes the traditional tests for constituency and the formal means for representing them in phrase structure grammars, extended phrase structure grammars, X-bar theory, and set theoretic bare phrase structure. In doing so it provides a clear, thorough, and rigorous axiomatic description of the structural properties of constituent trees. Andrew Carnie considers the central controversies on constituent structure. Is it, for example, a primitive notion or should it be derived from relational or semantic form? Do sentences have a single constituency or multiple constituencies? Does constituency operate on single or multiple dimensions? And what exactly is the categorial content of constituent structure representations?

He identifies points of commonality as well as important theoretical differences among the various approaches to constituency, and critically examines the strengths and limitations of competing frameworks. This is an ideal introduction for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. It is also a valuable reference for theoretical linguists of all persuasions in departments of linguistics, cognitive science, computational science, and related fields.

Andrew Carnie is Associate Professor of Lingusitics at the University of Arizona. His 1995 dissertation proposed that the traditional distinction between phrases and words is derived and falls out from the interfaces of the syntax with the morphological and semantic components. His publications include the successful textbook Syntax: A Generative Introduction (Blackwell, 2002) and, as co-editor, The Syntax of VSO Languages (OUP, 2002), Formal Approaches to Function (Benjamins, 2003), and Verb First (Benjamins, 2005), as well as articles in theoretical syntax in such journals as Syntax, Journal of Celtic Linguistics, Studia Linguistica, Journal of Linguistics, and Canadian Journal of Linguistics. He is currently working on Irish Nouns: A Guide for Students, Teachers and Researchers (OUP) and Sentence Structure: A course book (CUP).

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