Semantics

Download Objects and Other Subjects: Grammatical Functions, by William D. Davies PDF

By William D. Davies

The papers during this quantity learn the present position of grammatical features in transformational syntax in methods: (i) via principally theoretical issues in their prestige, and (ii) via specific analyses for a large choice of languages. Taken jointly the chapters during this quantity current a accomplished view of how transformational syntax characterizes the elusive yet usually valuable notions of topic and item, studying how topic and item homes are disbursed between a variety of sensible projections, converging occasionally particularly languages.

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Additional resources for Objects and Other Subjects: Grammatical Functions, Functional Categories and Configurationality

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It is this same Agr feature that is checked by the thematic subject of a transitive clause when the thematic object undergoes noun incorporation with the verb. This case system is schematized in (20). (20)a. b. Transitive clause: [ Thematically-high-ar8x [Thematically-Iow-argy AgrX AgrY ... ]] Transitive NI clause: [ Thematically-high-arg AgrY [ Thematically-low-arg .. ]] . c. Intransitive clause: [ Single-argument AgrY ... ]] The result of this is, of course, a case/agreement system characterized as ergative/absolutive, in which AgrX is Ergative and AgrY is Absolutive.

Here the more prominent (c­ commanding) wh phrase must be the one that moves to clause initial position, while - the less prominent (c-commanded) wh-phrase remains in its base position (Superiority, (Chomsky 1 973a» . (I 9)a. Who persuaded whom that video games are good for you? b. *Who(m) did who persuade that video games are good for you? c. )Who said that who plays too many video games? d. *Who did who say plays too many video games? (20) illustrates Negative Po larity Li cens ing in wh ich a contextually restricted anyone must be c-commanded by an item with inherent negative force like , item like nobody.

But do they say them equal ly well? There are some relatively minor differences worth pointing out immediately. The most obvious one is that the RG representation is (in this case) more succinct and easier to type. All things being equal, that is an advantage to the RG approach. ) The RG representation also clearly 34 MARK C . BAKER abstracts away from language particular details such as word order and morphological marking. As part of this. it does not represent various el ements of the clause that have no obvious significance for core grammatical relations phenomena, including the tense particles and complementizers.

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