The distinction between functional categories and lexical categories is at the heart of present-day grammatical theory, in theories on language acquisition, code-switching and aphasia. At the same time, it has become clear, however, that there are many lexical items for which it is less easy to decide whether they side with the lexical categories or the functional ones. This book deals with the grammatical behavior of such in- between-categories, which are referred to here as "semi-lexical categories".
The problem of lexical categories and root class determination is fundamental in linguistic description and theory. Research on this topic has been particularly stimulated by studies of Amerindian languages. The essays in this collection, written by specialists in languages from South, Middle and North America, provide new insights into processes, levels, functions, and the aquisition of lexical categories, from various recent theoretical perspectives. The volume also addresses recent debates about root indeterminacy. Focusing on morphosyntax, phonology, and semantics, the contributions offer invaluable material for typological generalizations and for comprehension of the nature of the mental lexicon.
This study is a generative approach to the difference between the determiner phrase in Spanish versus the determiner phrase in English. The author argues against most claims concerning the Spanish determiner phrase and poses her own argument. Her claim is that the determiner phrase in Spanish is not a functional category, but rather a lexical category. By making a solid case for viewing the Spanish determiner as lexical, McManness can more elegantly and economically account for the proper government of empty categories in Spanish determiner phrases. McManness's argument makes the book unique and provides readers with a new way of looking at Spanish grammar. This thorough and innovative book will be highly appropriate for theoretical linguistics seminars in Spanish versus English and generative linguistics seminars in Spanish syntax. Contents: Preface; Acknowledgements; Theoretical Background; General Theoretical Assumptions About Determiner Phrases; Demonstratives and Definite Articles; Possessives and Genitives; Conclusions; Bibliography; Index of Names; Index of Subjects.
This volume highlights current theories of the lexicon from the perspective of its use in sentence understanding. It includes work from researchers in psycholinguistic studies on sentence comprehension.
The word is central to both naive and expert theories of language. Yet the definition of 'word' remains problematic. The 42 chapters of this Handbook offer a variety of perspectives on this most basic and elusive of linguistic units.
In Lexical Strata in English, Heinz Giegerich investigates the way in which alternations in the sound patterns of words interact with the morphological processes of the language. Drawing examples from English and German, he uncovers and spells out in detail the principles of 'lexical morphology and phonology', a theory that has in recent years become increasingly influential in linguistics. Giegerich queries many of the assumptions made in that theory, overturning some and putting others on a principled footing. What emerges is a formally coherent and highly constrained theory of the lexicon - the theory of 'base-driven' stratification - which predicts the number of lexical strata from the number of base-category distinctions recognized in the morphology of the language. Finally, he offers accounts of some central phenomena in the phonology of English (including vowel 'reduction', [r]-sandhi and syllabification), which both support and are uniquely facilitated by this new theory.
This study discusses functional categories in Igbo within Noam Chomsky’s Minimalist Program (MP). Chapter 1 includes the introduction of the concept of functional categories and why they take central place in the study of syntax, as well as an overview of the Minimalist Program (MP). Chapter 2 discusses some historical antecedents to MP. It further discusses the economy principles of the MP as well as the place of functional categories within the overall conceptions of the MP model. Chapter 3 discusses five functional categories: Agreement, Tense, Aspect, Negation and Determiner. In chapter 4, the Igbo functional categories within the verbal domain: Tense, Aspect and Negation are discussed. Chapter 5 is an application of the theoretical issues raised in Chapter 2 to the analysis of the functional categories discussed in Chapter 3. One interesting issue discussed in Chapter 5 is the role of tone in realising some of the functional categories in Igbo. Chapter 6 discusses the functional categories within the nominal domain with much emphasis on the determiner. A revised version of the author’s doctoral thesis, some of the conclusions are revolutionary, relevant to debates in the linguistic theory and in Igbo studies in particular, as well as serving as an introduction to MP.
The papers in this volume address the general question what type of lexical specifications we need in a generative grammar and by what principles this information is projected onto syntactic configurations, or to put it differently, how lexical insertion is executed. Many of the contributions focus on what the syntactic consequences are of choices that are made with respect to the lexical specifications of heads. The data in the volume are drawn from diverse languages, among which: Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Dutch, English, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Mohawk, Norwegian, Polish, Russian.