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Linguistische Arbeiten

Band 544:
Ott, Dennis: Local Instability. Split Topicalization and Quantifier Float in German. VIII/174 S. - Berlin / Boston: de Gruyter, 2012.
ISBN: 978-3-11-029037-0
Dieser Band ist im IDS verfügbar:
[Buch] IDS-Bibliothek: Sig. QA 4196
Alternatives Medium:
E-Book (PDF). Berlin / Boston: de Gruyter. ISBN: 978-3-11-029095-0

This monograph argues for a novel approach to split topicalization and quantifier float in German, based on the premise that syntactic structure-building proceeds solely via free application of Merge. Following recent developments in the pursuit of a more principled theory of syntax, it is argued that the stipulative notion of ‘projection’ ought to be dispensed with: syntactic objects created by Merge are not headed, and endocentricity arises due to a simple search algorithm. When this algorithm fails, specifically in symmetric {XP,YP} structures, an unlabeled constituent results; where a label is required, such structures are locally unstable. It is argued that both split topics and floated quantifiers are the result of this kind of local instability: when an exocentric predication structure is merged in argument or adjunct position, XP must be displaced at the phase level to allow for determination of a label. It is this symmetry-breaking movement that yields the ‘split constituent’ in surface form. Based on careful empirical scrutiny of two recalcitrant problems for syntactic theory, the present work adduces substantial support for a ‘minimalist’ grammatical architecture devoid of phrase-structural residue.


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Acknowledgments S. V
1.   Introduction S. 1
2.   Properties & Problems S. 11
3.   A Novel Approach S. 57
4.   Quantifier Float S. 141
5.   Conclusion S. 159
References S. 163
Index S. 173