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June 18 , 2011

Noun Phrase Licensing


This book examines the syntax of direct object noun phrases in English within the Principles and Parameters, specifically Chomsky's Minimalist Program, approach to generative grammar. The main focus is on the phrase structural positions of object noun phrases at the various levels of representation, and secondarily on the relationship between structural position and semantic interpretation. Supported by a variety of empirical and conceptual arguments, the central claim of the book is that direct object noun phrases in English surface in a VP-external position; a secondary claim is that while in the overt syntax direct objects appear VP-externally, their position at the level of logical form varies depending on interpretation. Four basic constructions are studied: simple transitive clauses, transitive clauses with prepositional objects, the "raising to object" construction, and the "double object" construction. This book will be of interest to scholars in the areas of phrase structure syntax, English and Germanic syntax, the syntax-semantics interface, and all areas of generative approaches to syntax.

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