The direction in which the structure of sentences and filler-gap dependencies are built is a topic of fundamental importance to linguistic theory and its applications. This book develops an integrated understanding of structure building, movement and locality embedded in a syntactic theory that argues for a 'top down' approach, presenting an explicit counterweight to the bottom-up derivations pervading the Chomskian mainstream. It combines a compact and comprehensive historical perspective on structure building, the cycle, and movement, with detailed discussions of island effects, the typology of long-distance filler-gap dependencies, and the special problems posed by the subject in clausal syntax. Providing introductions to the main issues, reviewing extant arguments for bottom-up and top-down approaches, and presenting several case studies in its development of a new theory, this book should be of interest to all students and scholars of language interested in syntactic structures and the dependencies inside them.
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Marcel den Dikken (Ph.D., Leiden, 1992) has held university appointments in Amsterdam, Groningen, Tilburg, Los Angeles, and New York City, and is currently a Research Professor in Budapest. He is co-author of Syntax of Dutch: Nouns and Noun Phrases, volume 2 (2014), editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Generative Syntax (Cambridge, 2013), and Series Editor of Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory.
1. Introduction; 2. The directionality of structure building; 3. Find the gap; 4. A syntactic typology of long A-dependencies; 5. The trouble with subjects; 6. Conclusion.
'Marcel den Dikken's book Dependency and Directionality is a must-read for syntacticians. It calls into question many long-held assumptions about the building of syntactic structures and replaces standard views with a challenging alternative that is supported with page after page of solid evidence.' Frederick J. Newmeyer, University of Washington Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, British Columbia
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