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Book Information

   

Title: Uttering Trees
Written By: Norvin Richards
URL: http://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262513715
Series Title: Linguistic Inquiry Monographs
Description:

In Uttering Trees, Norvin Richards investigates the conditions imposed upon
syntax by the need to create syntactic objects that can be interpreted by
phonology--that is, objects that can be pronounced. Drawing extensively on
linguistic data from a variety of languages, including Japanese, Basque,
Tagalog, Spanish, Kinande (Bantu language spoken in the Democratic Republic
of the Congo), and Chaha (Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia), Richards
makes two new proposals about the relationship between syntax and phonology.

The first, "Distinctness," has to do with the process of imposing a linear
order on the constituents of the tree. Richards claims that syntactic nodes
with many properties in common cannot be directly linearized and must be
kept structurally distant from each other. He argues that a variety of
syntactic phenomena can be explained by this generalization, including much
of what has traditionally been covered by case theory. Richards's second
proposal, "Beyond Strength and Weakness," is an attempt to predict, for any
given language, whether that language will exhibit overt or covert
wh-movement. Richards argues that we can predict whether or not a language
can leave wh in situ by investigating more general properties of its
prosody. This proposal offers an explanation for a cross-linguistic
difference—that wh-phrases move overtly in some languages and covertly in
others—that has hitherto been simply stipulated. In both these areas, it
appears that syntax begins constructing a phonological representation
earlier than previously thought; constraints on both word order and prosody
begin at the beginning of the derivation.

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: MIT Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Phonology
Syntax
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0262013762
ISBN-13: 9780262013765
Pages: 240
Prices: U.S. $ 60

 
 
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0262513714
ISBN-13: 9780262513715
Pages: 240
Prices: U.S. $ 30