Theory and Experiment in Syntax  book cover
1st Edition

Theory and Experiment in Syntax

ISBN 9780367749019
Published December 31, 2021 by Routledge
364 Pages 78 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book reflects on key questions of enduring interest on the nature of syntax, bringing together Grant Goodall’s previous publications and new work exploring how syntactic representations are structured and the affordances of experimental techniques in studying them.

The volume sheds light on central issues in the theory of syntax while also elucidating the methods of data collection which inform them. Featuring Goodall’s previous studies of linguistic phenomena in English, Spanish, and Chinese, and complemented by a new introduction and material specific to this volume, the book is divided into four sections around fundamental strands of syntactic theory. The four parts explore the dimensionality of syntactic representations; the relationship between syntactic structure and predicate-argument structure; interactions between subjects and wh-phrases in questions; and more detailed investigations of wh-dependencies but from a more overtly experimental perspective. Taken together, the volume reinforces the connections between these different aspects of syntax by highlighting their respective roles in defining what syntactic objects look like and how the grammar operates on them.

This book will be a valuable resource for scholars in linguistics, particularly those with an interest in syntax, psycholinguistics, and Romance linguistics.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction: Five themes in the study of syntax


Part 1: Three-dimensional syntax

1 Coordination

2 Case, clitics, and lexical NP's in Romance causatives

3 Wanna-contraction as restructuring


Part 2: Syntax and argument structure

4 Evidence for an asymmetry in argument structure

5 X’-internal word order in Mandarin Chinese and universal grammar

6 On case and the passive morpheme

7 θ-alignment and the by-phrase

8 Accusative case in passives

9 Passives and arbitrary plural subjects in Spanish

Part 3: The syntax of subjects and wh-dependencies

10 On the status of SPEC of IP

11 The EPP in Spanish

12 Inversion in wh-questions in child Romance and child English

13 Experimenting with wh-movement in Spanish

14 Syntactic satiation and the inversion effect in English and Spanish wh-questions


Part 4: Constraints on wh-dependencies

15 Age-related effects on constraints on wh-movement

16 Is magnitude estimation worth the trouble?

17 The D-linking effect on extraction from islands and non-islands

18 Referentiality and resumption in wh-dependencies

19 D-linking, non-finiteness, and cross-linguistic variation in island phenomena


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Grant Goodall is Professor of Linguistics and Director of the Linguistics Language Program and the Experimental Syntax Lab at the University of California, San Diego, USA.