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The direction in which the structure of sentences and filler-gap dependencies are built is a topic of fundamental importance to linguistic theory and its applications. This book develops an integrated understanding of structure building, movement and locality embedded in a syntactic theory that argues for a 'top down' approach, presenting an explicit counterweight to the bottom-up derivations pervading the Chomskian mainstream. It combines a compact and comprehensive historical perspective on structure building, the cycle, and movement, with detailed discussions of island effects, the typology of long-distance filler-gap dependencies, and the special problems posed by the subject in clausal syntax. Providing introductions to the main issues, reviewing extant arguments for bottom-up and top-down approaches, and presenting several case studies in its development of a new theory, this book should be of interest to all students and scholars of language interested in syntactic structures and the dependencies inside them.
Syntax – the study of sentence structure – has been at the centre of generative linguistics from its inception and has developed rapidly and in various directions. The Cambridge Handbook of Generative Syntax provides a historical context for what is happening in the field of generative syntax today, a survey of the various generative approaches to syntactic structure available in the literature and an overview of the state of the art in the principal modules of the theory and the interfaces with semantics, phonology, information structure and sentence processing, as well as linguistic variation and language acquisition. This indispensable resource for advanced students, professional linguists (generative and non-generative alike) and scholars in related fields of inquiry presents a comprehensive survey of the field of generative syntactic research in all its variety, written by leading experts and providing a proper sense of the range of syntactic theories calling themselves generative.
This chapter surveys the relation between syntactic structure, information structure, and prosodic structure. It explicates what prosodic structures look like in general, and which prosodic structures go with which syntactic structures. As suggested by this formulation, the perspective here is that syntax and prosody are each generative systems, which independently define two sets of well-formed structures, one of syntactic phrase markers and one of prosodic structures. The two aspects of (English) prosody most easily detected by naive listeners are (relative) prominence and pauses or breaks. An empirically plausible, and theoretically interesting hypothesis is that syntax should be 'phonology free'. Extraneous features influence the shape of prosodic structure, but the ultimate realization of focus and other information structural features is best understood as an interplay between narrow syntactic mapping constraints, prosody-internal well-formedness constraints and constraints of extraneous feature mapping like Focus Prominence.