Building on the success of the bestselling first edition, the second edition of this textbook provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the major issues in Principles and Parameters syntactic theory, including phrase structure, the lexicon, case theory, movement, and locality conditions.
- Includes new and extended problem sets in every chapter, all of which have been annotated for level and skill type
- Features three new chapters on advanced topics including vP shells, object shells, control, gapping and ellipsis and an additional chapter on advanced topics in binding
- Offers a brief survey of both Lexical-Functional Grammar and Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar
- Succeeds in strengthening the reader's foundational knowledge, and prepares them for more advanced study
- Supported by an instructor's manual and online resources for students and instructors, available at www.blackwellpublishing.com/carnie
is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona. He is the editor of several books including Verb First
(2005), Formal Approaches to Function
(2003), and The Syntax of Verb Initial Languages
Preface and Acknowledgments
Almost every preface to every syntax textbook out there starts out by telling the reader how different this book is from every other syntax textbook. On one hand, this is often the truth: each author shows their own particular spin or emphasis. This is certainly true of this textbook. For example, you’ll be hard pressed to find another textbook on Principles and Parameters syntax that uses as many Irish examples as this one does. Nor will you find another P&P textbook with a supplementary discussion of alternative theoretical approaches like LFG or HPSG. On the other hand, let’s face facts. The basic material to be covered in an introductory textbook doesn’t really vary much. One linguist may prefer a little more on binding theory, and a little less on control, etc. In this text, I’ve attempted to provide a relatively balanced presentation of most of the major issues and I’ve tried to do this in a student-friendly way. I’ve occasionally abstracted away from some of the thornier controversies, where I felt they weren’t crucial to a student understanding the basics. This may, to a certain extent, make the professional syntactician feel that I’ve cut corners or laid out too rosy a picture. I did this on purpose, however, to give students a chance to absorb the fundamentals before challenging the issues. This is a textbook, not a scholarly tome, so its aim is to reach as many students as possible. The style is deliberately low key and friendly. This doesn’t mean I don’t want the students to challenge the material I’ve presented here. Throughout the book, you’ll find gray “textboxes” that contain issues for further discussion, or interesting tidbits. Many of the problem sets also invite the student to challenge the black and white presentation I’ve given in the text. I encourage instructors to assign these, and students to do them, as they form an important part of the textbook. Instructors may note that if a favorite topic is not dealt with in the body of the text, a problem set may very well treat the question.
A quick word on the level of this textbook: This book is intended as an introduction to syntactic theory. It takes the student through most of the major issues in Principles and Parameters, from tree drawing to constraints on movement. While this book is written as an introduction, some students have reported it to be challenging. I use this text in my upper division undergraduate introduction to syntax with success, but I can certainly see it being used in more advanced classes. I hope instructors will flesh out the book, and walk their students through some of the thornier issues.
This textbook has grown out of my lecture notes for my own classes. Needless to say, the form and shape of these notes have been influenced in terms of choice of material and presentation by the textbooks my own students have used. While the book you are reading is entirely my fault, it does owe a particular intellectual debt to the following three textbooks, which I have used in teaching at various times:
Cowper, Elizabeth (1992) A Concise Introduction to Syntactic Theory: The Government and Binding Approach. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Haegeman, Liliane (1994) Introduction to Government and Binding Theory (2nd edition). Oxford: Blackwell.
Radford, Andrew (1988) Transformational Grammar: A First Course. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
I’d like to thank the authors of these books for breaking ground in presenting a complicated and integrated theory to the beginner. Writing this book has given me new appreciation for the difficulty of this task and their presentation of the material has undoubtedly influenced mine.
Sadly, during the final stages of putting the first edition of this text together, my dissertation director, teacher, mentor, and academic hero, Ken Hale passed away after a long illness. Ken always pushed the idea that theoretical syntax is best informed by cross-linguistic research; while at the same time, the accurate documentation of languages requires a sophisticated understanding of grammatical theory. These were important lessons that I learned from Ken and I hope students will glean the significance of both by reading this text. While I was writing this book (and much other work) Ken gave me many comments and his unfettered support. He was a great man and I will miss him terribly.
This, the second edition of this book, is considerably different from the first edition. Here is a brief list of the major differences between the two editions. This list is not comprehensive, many more minor differences can be found.
- The exercise sections of the chapters are now organized differently and are greatly expanded. Exercises are presented in the order that the material appears in the chapter. I have attempted to categorize each exercise for level and type.
- There are two types of problem sets: General and Challenge. These two types roughly correspond to the exercises that I assign to my regular students and my honors students respectively. Challenge Problem Sets often challenge the straightforward presentation of the material in the main body of the text.
- The former chapter 2 on structure and parts of speech has been split into two chapters. The new chapter 2 contains new information on subcategorization that some instructors requested to better inform students about the role of part of speech in phrase structure processes. Also Adjectives are now distinguished from Adverbs.
- The phrase structure rules in the new chapter 3 have been completely revised. In particular, I’m using non-X-bar versions of TP and CP here, and have added embedded clauses to all the relevant rules.
- The definitions of precedence, exhaustive domination and c-command have all been significantly revised in the chapter on structural relations. A limited version of government is given for those instructors who wish to teach it to their students.
- The chapters on X-bar theory have many more trees and examples.
- DPs are used consistently from chapter 7 forward.
- I have added categories to the theta grids in the chapter on the Lexicon in order to tie them to the subcategories introduced in chapter 2.
- A new section on stacked VPs and affix-hopping has been added to the chapter on head movement
- VP-internal subjects are used consistently from chapter 9 forward
- The treatment of passives in chapter 10 is completely different from the previous edition. I have moved towards a Baker, Johnson and Roberts style approach where the -en morphology is directly assigned the internal theta role and accusative case by the verb in the syntax rather than in the lexicon.
- The treatment of locality conditions in the chapter on wh-movement is entirely new. I’ve dropped subjacency in favor of an MLC based approach. The chapter now includes an inventory of the major island types; but theoretical coverage is only given to wh-islands. (Although the chapter also contains a brief discussion of the Head-Movement Constraint and Super-raising in the context of the MLC).
- Chapter 12 now contains a more accurate discussion of wh-in situ and develops the ideas of feature checking, covert movement, and SPELLOUT.
- There is a brand new chapter on split VPs in a brand new section on “advanced topics,” including sections on object shift, ditransitives, a Lasnik style analysis of Pseudogapping and a Hornstein style analysis of ACD.
- The chapter on Raising and Control has been moved to the new part of the book on advanced topics, and uses a split VP (vP-AgrOP-VP) structure to avoid ternary branching.
- There is a new chapter on advanced topics in binding theory. This looks at issues on level of representation, chains and the copy theory of movement. It also takes a relativized view of binding domain consistent with Chomsky (1986).
- I’ve taken some of the more controversial “comparing theories” language out of the chapters on LFG and HPSG.
I hope that instructors and students will find these revisions helpful. I have attempted where possible to take into account all the many comments and suggestions I received from people using the first edition. Although of course in order to maintain consistency, I was unable to do them all.
I’d like to thank the many people who taught me syntax through the years: Barb Brunson, Noam Chomsky, Elizabeth Cowper, Ken Hale, Alec Marantz, Diane Massam, Jim McCloskey, Shigeru Miyagawa, and David Pesetsky. A number of people have read through this book or the previous edition and have given me extensive and helpful comments: William Alexander, Ash Asudeh, Brett Baker, Andy Barss, Mark Baltin, Luis Barragan, Emily Bender, Abbas Benmamoun, Joan Bresnan, Dirk Bury, Roy Chan, Danny Chen, Deborah Chen Pichler, Barbara Citko, Peter Cole, Lorenzo Demery, Sheila Dooley, Yehuda Falk, Leslie Ford, Alexandra Galani, Jila Ghomeshi, Erin Good, Paul Hagstrom, Ken Hale, Heidi Harley, Josh Harrison, Rachel Hayes, Bernhard Heigl, One-Soon Her, Stephan Hurtubise, Alana Johns, Mark Johnson, Simin Karimi, Andreas Kathol, Péter Lazar, Anne Lobeck, Leila Lomashivili, Sarah Longstaff, Ahmad Reza Lotfi, Ricardo Mairal, Joan Maling, Jack Martin, Diane Massam, Nathan McWhorter, Dave Medeiros, Martha McGinnis, Mirjana Miskovic-Lukovic, Jon Nissenbaum, Peter Norquest, Kazutoshi Ohno, Heidi Orcutt, Hyeson Park, David Pesetsky, Colin Phillips, Carl Pollard, Janet Randall, Norvin Richards, Frank Richter, Betsy Ritter, Ed Rubin, Ivan Sag, Theresa Satterfield, Leslie...