17.1057, Review: Syntax: Kayne (2005)
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LINGUIST List: Vol-17-1057. Sat Apr 08 2006. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.
Subject: 17.1057, Review: Syntax: Kayne (2005)
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From: Vivienne Rogers < Vivienne.Rogers at newcastle.ac.uk >
Subject: Movement & Silence
-------------------------Message 1 ----------------------------------
Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2006 14:46:51
From: Vivienne Rogers < Vivienne.Rogers at newcastle.ac.uk >
Subject: Movement & Silence
Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/16/16-2454.html
AUTHOR: Kayne, Richard
TITLE: Movement and Silence
SERIES: Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax
PUBLISHER: Oxford University Press
Vivienne Rogers, PhD Student, Department of French, University of
This collection of twelve articles brings together a number of Kayne's
recent publications in one volume. As the title suggests the focus of
this collection is on remnant movement and silent elements,
particularly nouns and adjectives. Kayne uses a comparative
approach, focusing principally on French and English but also
includes discussion of Irish, Italian and Japanese.
Chapter one ''New Thoughts on Stylistic Inversion'' is co-written with
Jean-Yves Pollock and deals with Stylistic Inversion (SI) or as the
authors prefer ''non-clitic subject related inversion''. SI is the
phenomena in French when the subject follows the verb, for example
(Kayne & Pollock's (47) p.15 and (59) p. 28)
1. le jour où a téléphoné Jean ('the day when has telephoned J')
2. Il faut que parte Jean. ('it is-necessary that leave J')
Kayne & Pollock show that this is constrained to third person
sentences with a lexical subject only and argue that these contain a
silent preverbal clitic. The authors suggest that the lexical subject
starts out as the specifier of a larger DP containing the silent clitic.
When the lexical subject moves out of the spec-IP position to spec-FP
it leaves behind the silent clitic. IP moves past the spec FP to another
projection they call GP. So (1) would derive as follows (Kayne &
Pollock's (48) p. 15) where SCL stands for Silent Clitic, and '':''
separates an index from the term it indexes.
[IP Jean-SCL a téléphoné]
[FP Jean:i F [IP t:i -SCL a téléphoné] ]
[GP [IP t:i -SCL a téléphoné]j G [FP Jean:i F t:j] ]
The second article in this collection ''On the Left Edge'' is a reply to
McCloskey (1999), who argues for ''a class of rightward movements
applying in the derivation of phonological form (PF) representations''
(p. 50). Kayne argues against this hypothesis by using English
counterparts to McCloskey's Irish data.
3. Even if we left, he would stay.
4. *If we left even, he would stay. Grammatical Irish equivalent
Kayne argues that this data can be accounted for using Heavy-NP
shift and a split CP projection. The Heavy-NP moves to a position
within CP but higher than the interrogative before the predicate
phrase is preposed. Kayne argues that this is supported cross-
linguistically as Amharic has a similar structure in 'if' clauses.
The third article is a review of Paola Benincà's volume on 'La
variazione sintattica'. This collection of work comprises eleven articles,
all but one new article, have been previously published in the
preceding twenty years. Kayne divides his review into three sections.
The first is a brief section on the background to studying dialect
syntax. The second and third sections mirror the two sections of
Benincà's volume: 'Subject clitics and null subjects' and 'Diachronic
syntax'. The former section focuses on modern Italian dialects and the
latter on medieval dialects. In these two sections, Kayne reviews each
of the articles presented. He concludes that Benincà has ''brought
together, enriching both considerably, syntactic theory and dialect
syntax more generally'' (p. 64).
The fourth article titled ''Here and There'' and deals with
demonstrative there/here. He argues that demonstrative 'there' is not
a case of locative 'there' in reduced relative clauses (p. 67). Rather
locative 'there' is the same as demonstrative 'there' but with an
unrealized noun (PLACE) and determiner. Non-locative 'there' follows
the same rule but with an unrealized noun (THING) instead of PLACE,
both of which ''must be licensed by a locative adposition'' (p. 76).
Examples are Kayne's (1), (2) and (3b) p. 65.
5. John lives there. LOCATIVE
6. John spoke thereof. NON-LOCATIVE
7. that there book, them there books DEMONSTRATIVE
Kayne uses evidence from Italian 'a/ci' to support a locative and not
The fifth article ''Prepositions as Probes'' argues that some pre- and
postpositions (specifically French 'à') are probes in the Chomsky
(2004) sense (p.85). Using data from French causatives and subject-
preceding dative prepositions (à), Kayne argues that these are not
ordinary prepositional phrases, nor are the causatives instances of
control but rather sentences like (8) below (Kayne's (12) p. 87) are
due to raising or ECM (p. 92).
8. J'ai fait manger la tarte à Jean. ('I have made/had eat the pie to
Kayne argues that 'à' is a functional head above the causative and
that 'Jean' in example (8) starts as the subject of the infinitive 'manger'
(p.98). He also argues for a link between French causatives and
English double object constructions.
The sixth article ''Pronouns and Their Antecedents'' argues
that ''Binding should be rethought in movement terms even more
generally, including what we think of as Condition C effects'' (p. 105).
Kayne argues against Lasnik's (1976) 'accidental coreference' for
reflexives by demonstrating that all examples of co-reference are the
result of movement.
The seventh article is titled ''On Some Prepositions that look DP-
Internal: English 'of' and French 'de'''. Kayne proposes that
prepositions can merge outside the VP in sentences like (9) and (10).
He argues that there is no need for a 'readjustment' rule as per
9. John has lots of money.
10. Jean a beaucoup d'argent.
Kayne suggests that 'lots of money' or 'beaucoup d'argent' are not
constituents (p. 139). Kayne uses arguments from Case theory to
support this contention. He suggests that Case is limited to lexical
items within the DP (p. 142) and that there are unpronounced
elements such as AMOUNT or NUMBER in French and English to
account for this.
The eighth article, titled ''A Note on the Syntax of Quantity in English,''
expands upon the arguments given in the previous chapter
on 'few', 'little', 'many' and 'much'. He argues that 'few', 'little', 'many'
and 'much' are adjectival modifiers, which modify an unpronounced
element, for example 'few' and 'little' modify NUMBER and 'many'
or 'much' modify AMOUNT and not the noun which follows them.
Therefore in the sentence given in (11) the DP would have the
underlying structure of (12) (Kayne's examples (36) and (39) p. 180).
11. John has few books.
12. few NUMBER books
Kayne argues that NUMBER can optionally be either singular or non-
singular but not plural. When NUMBER is singular, 'few' is then
realised as 'a few' in a similar way to 'a small' in the sentence below
(p. 190, ex 110).
13. A small number of linguists went to that conference.
However, Kayne develops this argument by claiming that when
NUMBER is singular it requires another adjective (GOOD) to modify it
in addition to 'few'. This adjective does not have to be pronounced
(examples (136) and (137)).
14. John has a good few books.
15. John has a GOOD few NUMBER(sing.) books.
The ninth article is called ''Antisymmetry and Japanese.'' Kayne's
starting hypothesis is that all languages have the syntactic structure
Specifier-Head-Complement (p.215). He argues that OV word order is
derived by movement of the Complement to a higher Specifier position
above V. Kayne argues that 'Antisymmetry' affects many areas of
Japanese syntax; including the position of objects, relative pronouns
and head finality. Kayne suggests that while Japanese does not
possess relative pronouns, an antisymmetrical account for their
absence is possible (p. 218). Kayne also notes in terms of head
finality that languages are not consistently head-final or head-initial
and follows Kroch (2001) in his analysis. Kayne argues that Japanese
particles 'wa' and 'ga' might actually be head-initial (p.220). Kayne
supports his arguments for 'Antisymmetry' by discussion of a variety of
cross-linguistic gaps, including serial verbs, adverbs, heavy NPs and
The tenth article ''Silent Years, Silent Hours'' continues Kayne's
previous discussion of silent elements, for example NUMBER and
AMOUNT. In this article he extends this analysis to COLOR, YEAR,
AGE, HOUR and TIME. Kayne argues that when giving an age there
is a silent element YEAR, which excludes interpretations of MONTHS,
WEEKS or DAYS. For example, in the sentence (16) below, it clearly
has the meaning given in (17). Examples are Kayne's (24) and (28).
16. John is three.
17. is three YEARS
Kayne later argues that YEARS is actually YEAR based on
comparative data from French and Italian. He claims that ''silent YEAR
is possible ... in a given language only if in that language either pre-
nominal adjectives or overt pre-nominal classifier without (the
equivalent of) 'of' can be unaccompanied by a plural morpheme'' (p.
254-255). He concludes this chapter by suggesting that ''this type of
silent element may turn out to constitute a more important probe into
UG than might have been thought (p. 260).
The eleventh article ''Some Remarks on Agreement and Heavy NP
Shift'' deals with a variety of English that allows for verbal agreement
with another argument than the subject. This was first reported by
Kimball & Aissen (1971).
18. The people who John think should be invited.
Kayne suggests that this is not common cross-linguistically and
therefore any account should not over-generate instances of this
structure. Kayne argues that in such sentences there is
an ''unpronounced auxiliary'' that John, in (1), agrees with and the wh-
phrase agrees with 'think' (p. 264). Kayne argues that in this variety of
English the wh-phrase moves through the VP and that agreement
becomes obligatory. This could account for the difference
with 'standard' English, which does not allow this kind of wh-phrase
movement (p. 267-8).
In this chapter, Kayne also discusses 'Heavy-NP Shift'. He argues that
Heavy-NP shift is actually a case of leftward movement but is only
available in those VO languages that do not have ''its D DP final''
(p.273) as Haitian and Gun or lack of initial D as in Chinese (p.274).
Kayne notes that Chinese must have an unpronounced D but
surmises that this ''must be 'final' in the sense of Haitian and Gun D''
(footnote 33 p. 274).
The final article ''Some Notes on Comparative Syntax: With Special
Reference to English and French'' is a defence of the comparative
approach. Kayne argues that comparative syntax is necessary to
discover parametric differences between languages and to use these
to gain insight on language universals. Kayne discusses what is meant
by the term 'parameter' and argues for the importance of
microparameter and macroparameter studies. He suggests that the
former ''is the closest we can come, at the present time, to a controlled
experiment in comparative syntax'' (p.282) as small differences can be
examined to see what other syntactic properties cluster. Kayne
provides more data on pronounced and unpronounced elements (e.g.
French -aine vs. English -AINE with numbers, French 'de' and English
OF). Kayne concludes this article, and this book with the
following: ''Comparative syntax has become an indispensable, if not
privileged, part of our attempt to understand the (syntactic component
of the) human language faculty'' (p.333).
This collection of articles is clearly aimed at other syntacticians.
Kayne's arguments are very carefully and logically presented, moving
from one step to the next before reaching often quite surprising
conclusions. Kayne draws on information from a variety of different
languages to support his cross-linguistic comparative approach and
argues that this is crucial to a better understanding of the human
The articles in this book go into considerable detail about the syntactic
phenomenon under investigation. It has not been possible in this
review to examine many of the arguments given but hopefully a
flavour of each chapter's content has been provided.
Benincà, P. (1994) ''La variazione sintattica: Studia di dialettologica
italiana.'' Quaderni patavini di lingüística. Monografie 3. Unipress,
Chomsky, N. (1977) ''On wh-movement,'' in P. W. Culicover, T.
Wasow, and A. Akmajian (eds.) 'Formal Syntax.' Academic Press, New
York, pgs 71-132.
Chomsky, N. (2004) ''Beyond Explanatory Adequacy,'' in A. Belletti
(ed.) 'Structures and Beyond.' Oxford University Press, New York, pgs
Kimball, J. & J. Aissen (1971) ''I think, You think, He think,'' Linguistic
Inquiry 2: 242-246.
Kroch, A. S. (2001) ''Syntactic Change,'' in M. Baltin and C. Collins
(eds.) 'The Handbook of Contemporary Syntactic Theory'. Blackwell,
Malden, MA, pgs 699-729.
Lasnik, H. (1976) ''Remarks on Coreference,'' Linguistic Analysis 2:1-
McCloskey, J. (1999) ''On the Right Edge in Irish,'' Syntax: 189-209.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
I am a first year PhD student at University of Newcastle. My PhD deals
with the syntactic development of English learners of French in an
instructed environment. The study is cross-sectional and will look at
students after one, four and seven years of instruction. French and
English exemplify parametric variation in terms of verb-raising. French
allows finite verbs to raise and English does not. Specifically I elicit
production data on negation, adverb placement, subject and object
clitics to provide evidence of (or lack of) parameter re-setting. My
study will test a variety of hypotheses on Initial State and parameter re-
setting over time.
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