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Agreement Morphology, Argument Structure and Syntax
Category: Linguistics | Author: fjbosko | (25.07.10)   

Agreement Morphology, Argument Structure and

Publication date: 1999
Number of pages: 320
Format / Quality: PDF
Size: 1,30MB
This book is about the interaction of morphology, semantics and syntax. It
presents to our knowledge the rst theory that integrates all three of them in a
substantial and explicit way. The basic idea is very simple. When we put together
two units into a one, be they morphological units or syntactic units, then we put
together their morphology, their semantics and their morphology. The system
is in this respect very much like Montague grammar, and there is no derivation
needed to get the surface strings right. However, as much as Montague grammar
is apt at managing the connections between syntax and semantics, it becomes
very problematic when we look at morphology. For some parts of morphology
| in particular agreement morphology | are very distinct in character from
syntax. Agreement morphemes do not have meaning in the traditional sense of
the word. Instead, they introduce some `redundancy' into the sentence by which
we can uncover its meaning more easily. In fact, agreement morphology is not
redundant in many cases; overt morphology can actually give us more freedom
in syntax, as we are assured we can know how to put the things together. This
at least is the laymans theory of agreement. It is out intention to show that this
theory is, by and large, correct. Recently, Albert Visser and Kees Vermeulen ([98]
and [99]) have developed a semantics which is perfectly suited for our purposes.
To put their idea in a nutshell, each item functions like a box, which is closed
to the outside. You cannot see what is in them. In particular, the names of the
variables used in the formulae are hidden away. By default, each box has its own
universe. These boxes communicate by means of labels, which allow them to see
whether they actually share some element of their universe. Agreement is putting
these labels onto the boxes.

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