Author Topic: Exocentric constructions  (Read 397 times)

Offline amadeusz

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Exocentric constructions
« on: July 08, 2017, 01:29:27 PM »
Hi Everyone, Does anybody have a Emond's book: Emonds, J. 1976. A transformational approach to English syntax: Root, structure-preserving, and local transformations. New York: Academic Press.
I'm interested in the status of S as an exocentric construction, from page 15
Can someone do a page photo by a smartphone? I need this for my MA thesis.
Please...

Offline Daniel

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Re: Exocentric constructions
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2017, 02:59:03 PM »
This question is really pushing the limits of what should be allowed on the forum, although you are only asking for one page.

I'd usually recommend Google Books for that but there's no full-page preview for this book.

It is held by hundreds of libraries though:
http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1602318
Surely one of those is somewhere near you? Or you could request it (or a scan of the page!) through inter-library loan?
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Exocentric constructions
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2017, 11:04:07 AM »
Quote
If I'm pushing the limits - I'm sorry, it was not my purpose.
I personally think every scholarly publication should be freely available to everyone in the world. The forum policy must follow copyright law. Having a small scan (certainly one page, often something like 10% of a book) can be in line with those guidelines, on a personal basis, if you have a colleague at one of those schools, etc., or as I said, inter-library loan-- that's what I'd do in your situation. That said, I have traveled to many libraries myself for sources and I've generally been allowed to enter, sometimes with some restrictions. That's not true for every school, but it's usually possible if you contact them ahead of time. The policies are usually somewhere online.
Of course you asking for a single page is very different from those who ask for a whole book, which is why I said your request was pushing the limits, rather than necessarily breaking them. I didn't mean that your intentions were bad.

As for your questions about exocentric phrase structures in general, that makes sense, and "S" was seen as problematic for that very reason (though the phrasing might not be "exocentric"), and it has been since replaced with IP/TP/CP/etc. If you're just interested in the history of syntactic theory and this is a good example in that sense, you can discuss it. But if you're interested in current/popular theories, I'd say that "S" has been all but replaced by TP (or CP) in modern research. There is a very strong desire among syntacticians to avoid any phrases that are not determined by a head-- that's what X-bar theory is all about (by definition). There are still some puzzles you could look at. Examples include:

--Coordination: is it an "&P" or "ConjP"? If so, it acts internally like a "conjunction phrase" but then externally is treated as if it is the same category as the conjuncts (NP, VP, etc.). Or you can have three-way branching with a mysterious "and" in the phrase, which isn't necessarily exocentric but is problematic for other reasons. The more popular analysis these days is the "ConjP" type, but it's still controversial. That is arguably not really exocentric either because it actually contains its type deeper within the structure, but not immediately as the head of that phrase. Something to consider.
--Participles (verbs as adjectives), Converbs (verbs as adverbs), and Gerunds (verbs as nouns) at least at the lexical level seem to have this going on: internally they are verbs (can select arguments, etc.), while externally they behave as another category (can modify nouns, can be arguments of verbs, etc.). I've never heard those called "exocentric", and arguably they are not because the derivational morphology can include the new part of speech information, but there's still an internal/external split, about the same as "S" and possibly a better example because "S" is just a notational example, while those mixed lexical categories actually have irregular behavior because of it.
--Possibly all of the discussion of "Adverbials", which are not necessarily one category but do seem to behave in a certain way, and can be made up of various categories within them. It's not necessarily something you'd label on the tree, and maybe you'd call "Adverbials" an 'emergent' category, but in a sense something like "I went home" has "home" acting like an adverb and that seems to be exocentric in some way.

Anyway, overall, I think most syntacticians would agree that having such 'exocentric' structures is a bad thing (again, they'd probably phrase it for other reasons, but the results would correspond to what you're looking at), so they are mostly eliminated from theories where possible.

There is actually something that could interest you that is related to my research: the idea of syntax/semantics mismatches. My research is about pseudocoordination (English go and get, try and do or Polish wzieł i wyszedł 'took and left' with an inceptive/surprise reading). Some linguists have said that some kinds of pseudocoordination represent a mismatch between syntax and semantics. (Though that's not the analysis I'd give for those verb-verb types.) An example is Culicover & Jackendoff's 1997 "Semantic subordination despite syntactic coordination" in Linguistic Inquiry with examples like "Take another step, and I'll shoot!", which appears to be coordination but function in discourse like conditionals. The inverse type can also be found where a subordinate structure has a coordinate meaning as described in Yuasa & Sadock's 2002 "Pseudo-subordination: a mismatch between syntax and semantics" for constructions such as Japanese -te which is really a dependent verb suffix (like English -ing) but which often functions like coordination (literally something like "Eating, I left" meaning "I ate and left"). Thus the research on mismatches between different levels of grammar is something like that you describe and might be helpful, if not literally a case of "exocentrism"-- "non-isomorphism" is probably a better description (at the interfaces), but the details depend on how you integrate it into the theory.
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Offline amadeusz

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Re: Exocentric constructions
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2017, 01:43:07 PM »
Thank You Daniel I will check the above semantics mismatches.
Yes, I'm writing my thesis about the history of the generative paradigm