Crosslinguistic Research in Syntax and Semantics

Negation, Tense, and Clausal Architecture

Raffaella Zanuttini, Héctor Campos, Elena Herburger, and Paul H. Portner, Editors

"This collection's many outstanding contributions make it a volume that syntacticians and semanticists will want to study carefully."
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Presenting cutting-edge research in syntax and semantics, this important volume furthers theoretical claims in generative linguistics and represents a significant addition to present scholarship in the field. Leading scholars present crosslinguistic studies dealing with clausal architecture, negation, and tense and aspect, and the issue of whether a statistical model can by itself capture the richness of human linguistic abilities. Taken together, these contributions elegantly show how theoretical tools can propel our understanding of language beyond pretheoretical descriptions, especially when combined with the insight and skills of linguists who can analyze difficult and complex data.

Crosslinguistic Research in Syntax and Semantics covers a range of topics currently at the center of lively debate in the linguistic literature, such as the structure of the left periphery of the clause, the proper treatment of negative polarity items, and the role of statistical learning in building a model of linguistic competence. The ten original contributions offer an excellent balance of novel empirical description and theoretical analysis, applied to a wide range of languages, including Dutch, German, Irish English, Italian, Malagasy, Malay, and a number of medieval Romance languages. Scholars and students of semantics, syntax, and linguistic theory will find it to be a valuable resource for ongoing scholarship and advanced study.

Table of Contents


1. Three Benchmarks for Distributional Approaches to Natural Language Syntax
Colin Phillips


2. Argument Fronting in English, Romance CLLD, and the Left Periphery
Liliane Haegeman

3. A Detailed Map of the Left Periphery of Medieval Romance
Paola Benincà

4. Questions and Questioning in a Local English
James McCloskey

5. VP-, Dº- Movement Languages
Lisa deMena Travis


6. Parasitism, Secondary Triggering, and Depth of Embedding
Marcel den Dikken

7. Light Negation and Polarity
Bernhard Schwarz and Rajesh Bhatt

8. Marking and Interpretation of Negation: A Bidirectional Optimality Theory Approach
Henriëtte de Swart


9. Cohesion in Temporal Context: Aspectual Adverbs as Dynamic Indexicals

Alice G. B. ter Meulen

10. Tense, Adverbials and Quantification
Toshiyuki Ogihara


"This collection, coming from highly distinguished international specialists, is extremely important for all specialists in syntax and semantics. Reference is to many languages, all explored using sophisticated theoretical methods: as much as anything, we have here impressive confirmation of how significant theoretical linguistics may be for the analysis of the richness of human language and the analysis of complex data."—Forum for Modern Language Studies

"This book contains truly fundamental contributions concerning the functional makeup of the sentence by some of the very best specialists around the world."—Guglielmo Cinque, Dipartimento di Scienze del Linguaggio, Universita' Ca' Foscari Venezia, Italy

"This collection's many outstanding contributions make it a volume that syntacticians and semanticists will want to study carefully."—Richard S. Kayne, professor, Department of Linguistics, New York University

"This is an illuminating and rich book where comparison is pursued very seriously; different languages are considered and analyzed with sophisticated theoretical tools in different domains of syntax and semantics. Its impact will be both on current research and on the formation of advanced students in linguistics."—Adriana Belletti, professor of linguistics, University of Siena


Paola Benincà, Università di Padova Rajesh Bhatt, University of Massachusetts, Amherst Marcel den Dikken, CUNY Graduate Center Liliane Haegeman, Université Charles de Gaulle Lille III James McCloskey, University of California, Santa Cruz Alice G.B. ter Meulen, University of Groningen Toshiyuki Ogihara, University of Washington Colin Phillips, University of Maryland, College Park Bernhard Schwartz, McGill University Henriëtte de Swart, Universiteit Utrecht Lisa deMena Travis, McGill University

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Raffaella Zanuttini is an associate professor of linguistics at Georgetown University. She is the author of Negation and Clausal Structure and coeditor of Paths Towards Universal Grammar.

Héctor Campos is an associate professor in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at Georgetown University. He is the author of De la Oracion Simple a la Oracion compuesta and coeditor of Evolution and Revolution in Linguistic Theory.

Elena Herburger is an associate professor in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at Georgetown University. She is the author of What Counts.

Paul H. Portner is an associate professor of linguistics at Georgetown University. He is the author of What Is Meaning? and a coeditor of Formal Semantics and the second edition of the Handbook of Semantics.

254 pp., 6 x 9

May 2006

254 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-58901-080-2
May 2006

254 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-305-6
May 2006

Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics series

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