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Syntactic Theory cover

Syntactic Theory

2nd Edition
A Formal Introduction

Ivan A. Sag, Thomas Wasow, and Emily M. Bender

Click here if you are considering adopting Syntactic Theory for a course.

The second edition of Syntactic Theory: A Formal Introduction expands and improves on a truly unique introductory syntax textbook. Like the first edition, it focuses on the development of precisely formulated grammars whose empirical predictions can be directly tested. There is considerable emphasis on prediction and evaluation of grammatical hypotheses, as well as on integrating syntactic hypotheses with matters of semantic analysis. The step-by-step introduction to a consistent grammar covering the core areas of English syntax is complemented by extensive problems sets drawing from a variety of languages. The student covers the core areas of English syntax from the last quarter century, including: complementation, control, 'raising constructions', passives, the auxiliary system, and the analysis of long distance dependency constructions. The theoretical perspective of the book is presented in the context of current models of language processing. The practical value of the constraint-based, lexicalist grammatical architecture proposed has already been demonstrated in computer language processing applications. The thoroughly reworked second edition includes revised and extended problem sets, updated analyses, additional examples, and more detailed exposition throughout.

An on-line instructor's manual for Syntactic Theory, 2nd Edition is now available. Visit the on-line Syntactic Theory Instructor's Manual by Emily M. Bender, Ivan A. Sag and Tom Wasow, for chapter-by-chapter lecture notes and downloadable transparencies to go with the lectures. In addition, there are sample solutions to all the problems in the text.

Contents

  • 1 Introduction 1
    • 1.1 Two Conceptions of Grammar 1
    • 1.2 An Extended Example: Reflexive and Nonreflexive Pronouns 3
    • 1.3 Remarks on the History of the Study of Grammar 7
    • 1.4 Why Study Syntax? 9
    • 1.5 Phenomena Addressed 16
    • 1.6 Summary 18
    • 1.7 Further Reading 18
    • 1.8 Problems 19
  • 2 Some Simple Theories of Grammar 21
    • 2.1 Introduction 21
    • 2.2 Two Simplistic Syntactic Theories 22
    • 2.3 Context-Free Phrase Structure Grammar 26
    • 2.4 Applying Context-Free Grammar 29
    • 2.5 Trees Revisited 33
    • 2.6 CFG as a Theory of Natural Language Grammar 35
    • 2.7 Problems with CFG 36
    • 2.8 Transformational Grammar 40
    • 2.9 What Are Grammars Theories Of? 42
    • 2.10 Summary 43
    • 2.11 Further Reading 44
    • 2.12 Problems 44
  • 3 Analyzing Features of Grammatical Categories 49
    • 3.1 Introduction 49
    • 3.2 Feature Structures 50
    • 3.3 The Linguistic Application of Feature Structures 59
    • 3.4 Phrase Structure Trees 74
    • 3.5 Summary 83
    • 3.6 The Chapter 3 Grammar 84
    • 3.7 Further Reading 88
    • 3.8 Problems 88
  • 4 Complex Feature Values 93
    • 4.1 Introduction 93
    • 4.2 Complements 94
    • 4.3 Specifiers 100
    • 4.4 Applying the Rules 103
    • 4.5 The Valence Principle 105
    • 4.6 Agreement Revisited 107
    • 4.7 Coordination and Agreement 116
    • 4.8 Case Marking 117
    • 4.9 Summary 117
    • 4.10 The Chapter 4 Grammar 118
    • 4.11 Further Reading 122
    • 4.12 Problems 122
  • 5 Semantics 131
    • 5.1 Introduction 131
    • 5.2 Semantics and Pragmatics 132
    • 5.3 Linguistic Meaning 134
    • 5.4 How Semantics Fits In 140
    • 5.5 The Semantic Principles 143
    • 5.6 Modification 145
    • 5.7 Coordination Revisited 149
    • 5.8 Quantifiers 151
    • 5.9 Summary 155
    • 5.10 The Chapter 5 Grammar 155
    • 5.11 Further Reading 160
    • 5.12 Problems 161
  • 6 How the Grammar Works 165
    • 6.1 A Factorization of Grammatical Information 165
    • 6.2 Examples 169
    • 6.3 Appendix: Well-Formed Structures 192
    • 6.4 Problems 198
  • 7 Binding Theory 203
    • 7.1 Introduction 203
    • 7.2 Binding Theory of Chapter 1 Revisited 204
    • 7.3 A Feature-Based Formulation of Binding Theory 205
    • 7.4 Two Problems for Binding Theory 208
    • 7.5 Examples 213
    • 7.6 Imperatives and Binding 216
    • 7.7 The Argument Realization Principle Revisited 219
    • 7.8 Summary 221
    • 7.9 Changes to the Grammar 221
    • 7.10 Further Reading 222
    • 7.11 Problems 223
  • 8 The Structure of the Lexicon 227
    • 8.1 Introduction 227
    • 8.2 Lexemes 228
    • 8.3 Default Constraint Inheritance 229
    • 8.4 Some Lexemes of Our Grammar 236
    • 8.5 The FORM Feature 246
    • 8.6 Lexical Rules 250
    • 8.7 Inflectional Rules 251
    • 8.8 Derivational Rules 260
    • 8.9 Summary 264
    • 8.10 Further Reading 265
    • 8.11 Problems 265
  • 9 Realistic Grammar 271
    • 9.1 Introduction 271
    • 9.2 The Grammar So Far 272
    • 9.3 Constraint-Based Lexicalism 294
    • 9.4 Modeling Performance 295
    • 9.5 A Performance-Plausible Competence Grammar 300
    • 9.6 Universal Grammar: A Mental Organ? 305
    • 9.7 Summary 309
    • 9.8 Further Reading 309
    • 9.9 Problems 309
  • 10 The Passive Construction 311
    • 10.1 Introduction 311
    • 10.2 Basic Data 311
    • 10.3 The Passive Lexical Rule 312
    • 10.4 The Verb Be in Passive Sentences 319
    • 10.5 An Example 321
    • 10.6 Summary 327
    • 10.7 Changes to the Grammar 328
    • 10.8 Further Reading 328
    • 10.9 Problems 329
  • 11 Nominal Types: Dummies and Idioms 333
    • 11.1 Introduction 333
    • 11.2 Be Revisited 333
    • 11.3 The Existential There 335
    • 11.4 Extraposition 338
    • 11.5 Idioms 347
    • 11.6 Summary 350
    • 11.7 Changes to the Grammar 350
    • 11.8 Further Reading 356
    • 11.9 Problems 356
  • 12 Infinitival Complements 361
    • 12.1 Introduction 361
    • 12.2 The Infinitival To 361
    • 12.3 The Verb Continue 364
    • 12.4 The Verb Try 371
    • 12.5 Subject Raising and Subject Control 376
    • 12.6 Object Raising and Object Control 377
    • 12.7 Summary 382
    • 12.8 Changes to the Grammar 382
    • 12.9 Further Reading 384
    • 12.10 Problems 385
  • 13 Auxiliary Verbs 391
    • 13.1 Introduction 391
    • 13.2 The Basic Analysis 392
    • 13.3 The NICE Properties 401
    • 13.4 Auxiliary Do 402
    • 13.5 Analyzing the NICE Properties 403
    • 13.6 Summary 419
    • 13.7 Changes to the Grammar 419
    • 13.8 Further Reading 423
    • 13.9 Problems 424
  • 14 Long-Distance Dependencies 427
    • 14.1 Introduction 427
    • 14.2 Some Data 427
    • 14.3 Formulating the Problem 429
    • 14.4 Formulating a Solution 430
    • 14.5 Subject Gaps 442
    • 14.6 The Coordinate Structure Constraint 443
    • 14.7 Summary 446
    • 14.8 Changes to the Grammar 446
    • 14.9 Further Reading 449
    • 14.10 Problems 450
  • 15 Variation in the English Auxiliary System 453
    • 15.1 Introduction 453
    • 15.2 Auxiliary Behavior in the Main Verb Have 453
    • 15.3 African American Vernacular English 455
    • 15.4 Summary 465
    • 15.5 Further Reading 466
    • 15.6 Problems 466
  • 16 Sign-Based Construction Grammar 469
    • 16.1 Taking Stock 469
    • 16.2 Multiple Inheritance Hierarchies 470
    • 16.3 Words and Phrases as Signs 473
    • 16.4 Constructions 475
    • 16.5 Phrasal Constructions of Our Grammar 479
    • 16.6 Locality 487
    • 16.7 Summary 489
  • Appendix A: Summary of the Grammar 491
    • A.1 The Type Hierarchy 491
    • A.2 Feature Declarations and Type Constraints 493
    • A.3 Abbreviations 501
    • A.4 The Grammar Rules 501
    • A.5 Lexical Rules 503
    • A.6 The Basic Lexicon 509
    • A.7 Well-Formed Structures 518
  • Appendix B: Related Grammatical Theories 525
    • B.1 Historical Sketch of Transformational Grammar 528
    • B.2 Constraint-Based Lexicalist Grammar 532
    • B.3 Three Other Grammatical Frameworks 539
    • B.4 Summary 542
  • Answers to Exercises 543
  • Glossary 555
  • References 571
  • Index 585

Praise for the first edition of Syntactic Theory

“Syntactic Theory sets a new standard for introductory syntax volumes that all future books should be measured against.”
 —Gert Webelhuth, Journal of Linguistics 37, p. 261 (2001)

“Syntactic Theory is, without a doubt, the best available introduction to unification-based syntactic theory.”
 —Gregory Stump, University of Kentucky

“My undergraduate students loved this book.”
 —Georgia Green, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

“A clear, thorough, and up-to-date introduction to a formal theory of grammar, it meticulously takes the reader through detailed analyses of many important aspects of English syntax, suggests applications to other languages, and evaluates the theoretical model employed from broad historical and intellectual perspectives.”
 —Patrick Farrell, Language 77, p. 162 (2001)

More praise for Syntactic Theory...

Ivan A. Sag (1949–2013) was Professor of Linguistics and Thomas Wasow is Professor emeritus of Linguistics and Philosophy at Stanford University, where they also served on the faculty of the Symbolic Systems Program. Emily M. Bender is now Professor of Linguistics at the University of Washington.

Errata

4/15/2003

ISBN (Paperback): 9781575864006
ISBN (electronic): 9781575866406

Books by Ivan A. Sag

Books by Thomas Wasow

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