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Structural analogy in language and its limits [Contrast and analogy v.2]

Structural analogy in language and its limits [Contrast and analogy v.2]

John Anderson 96 (ii)

John Anderson 96 (ii) Pre-OE i-umlaut: Long monophthongs : : {V} | {V{u}} ….. ({i}( ….. ({V} That is, we can restrict it to affecting just vowels with u; (96) applies only if the (underspecified) system shows a vowel containing a. In this way the vowel in West Saxon dæd etc. will not be affected, but only {u} and {u, }. Otherwise, i-umlaut and the defaults in (98) apply as with the ‘short’ system. 28 The status of this particular proposed general non-specification remains doubtful. For instance, Heijkoop’s (1997) data from earlier acquirers of Dutch suggest that, in their case, at least, acquisition of ‘consonant place’ is not based on coronal underspecification. 29 However, non-pasts subordinate to predicators of volition/intention have imposed on them a future, or at least non-actual, interpretation, which is unmarkedly perfective, as with pasts. As with pasts, in English the progressive is overtly specified (I want to be sitting on the beach). In Greek it is again an imperfect that is specified, as in (i.a), which can be interpreted as habitual or progressive: (i) a. θelo na kaθome-imp stin paralia I-want that I-sit on-the beach b. θelo na kaθiso/katso-perf stin paralia I-want that I-sit on-the beach (i.b) is interpreted as (the unmarked) punctual. We find the same contrast in Greek when the non-past verb is combined with the marker of futurity, θa. The brief treatment of English and Greek given here ignores, of course, various aspectual distinctions found in these and other languages (as is evident from such surveys as Comrie 1976, Dahl 1985, Chung & Timberlake 1986: §2). But it seems to be generally applicable to shared sub-parts of these different systems. 30 I do not pursue here the debate aroused by Carstairs-McCarthy’s proposals. For one thing, I do not subscribed to the view espoused by both sides of the debate that it is desirable or necessary to envisage a formally detailed autonomous linguistic faculty whose evolution is the subject of dispute (cf. e.g. Anderson in press a). For some criticisms from a Chomskyan perspective, see Bickerton 2000, Newmeyer 2000, Tallerman (in press). 31 Of course, I do not entertain the suggestion that all languages have the same basic word order: this would entail massive structural mutilations as part of the description of particular languages, as well as being quite unmotivated. 32 One consequence of this stipulation concerning ‘[Spec,IP]’ is that a different conclusion from that she intends should be drawn from Tallerman’s (in press: §4) argument against treating onsets as parallel to specifiers, based on the statement that ‘the onsets of phrases in general are filled only optionally’. If this is the case, and if syllabic onsets are thereby excluded as specifiers, then so are subjects. This is unsurprising: the idea that

97 Structural analogy in language, and its limits clauses and phrases are structurally analogous is fallacious, as I have argued elsewhere (Anderson in press a: §4). 33 This account of the syntax of the definite article differs in one crucial respect from that suggested in Anderson (in press b, in preparation): there the definite article is analysed as a member of the class of determinatives, which also includes the elements that I have grouped here as individuators; the definite article takes other determinatives as its complement, on that analysis. I do not attempt here to provide a fully specified alternative to that analysis, but, given the incompleteness of the present discussion, and thus the possibility of misunderstanding, I go on to try to clarify here further points the two accounts have in common. 34 It differs from the adjective in its specifier, though its specifier may be specified by the adjectival specifier, it would appear from the examples in (i): (i) a. Bob is (very) energetic/strong b. Bob is ((very) much) more energetic c. Bob is ((very) much) stronger The apparent presence of both an adjective and a comparator specifier, in English at least, raises some questions concerning the distribution of specifiers. For, though a case can be made for specification of functors, individuators and comparators, the only lexical category that seems to take a specifier in the restricted sense adopted here is the adjective. Let us therefore reconsider the status of very, often taken, as specifier of the adjective, as a paradigm case. On the assumptions I have been making so far, very is both specifier of the adjective, {\{P:N}}, as in (i.a), and specifier of the comparator specifier, {\{\{P.N}}}, as in (i.b). This is a rather curious distribution. Say we take the hint offered by the other lexical categories, and deny adjectival specifier status to very. Very is a specifier of a comparator specifier. This means that as well as specifying the specifier of an independent or morphologically-expressed comparator, as in (i.b/c), it must specify an incorporated specifier in (i.a). Gradable adjectives incorporate a specifier, of the character of much, so that we might represent (i) as in (ii): (ii) a. {P.N} | {\{P.N}} | {\{\{{P.N}}} {\{P.N}} : | : {P:N} : : : : very energetic/strong

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