Adjectives, Number and Interfaces (North-Holland Linguistic by D. Bouchard

By D. Bouchard

A learn of why languages differ the way in which they do within the area of adjectival amendment in French as contrasted with different Indo-European languages (English, Celtic, Walloon, Romanian, Italian). Rejecting prior famous analyses when it comes to syntactic move to numerous useful heads, the writer proposes a version during which exterior homes of interfaces are the rules from which the adaptation is derived. proscribing significantly the technical equipment of syntax, the writer argues that the homes of quantity on the interfaces are proven to supply an easy and particular resolution for longstanding difficulties of compositionality raised by way of adjectival amendment. there's additionally a unified research of the various different houses concerned. The version presents a principled rationalization of the adaptation referring to nominals with out determiners (bare NPs) and determiners with no nominals (clitics).

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Example text

The elements function as diacritics whose sole motivation is to indicate the positioning of the adjective or noun under a certain interpretation. In short, the proposals are intricate, but end up being blunt statements about order with little explanatory appeal. A system is explanatory if it produces logical or causal relations that are informative in that they allow us to understand why things must happen as described, and they anticipate new facts. But diacritic elements that try to save compositionality in a technical way, such as checking features, are not informative.

I will argue that external properties do indeed provide a deeper understanding of what is going on, and that there is no need of language-specific conditions of 36 Adjectives, Number and Interfaces the usual sort (like parameters restricted to formal features of functional categories, or an operation like Move, or principles like Subjacency and the ECP). My position is that the CHL is highly determined by properties of the interfaces taken as axiomatic, and these self-evident properties are in a quite small number.

Which interests are in question being indicated either by the element modifying or being modified by 'good' or by certain features of the context of utterance" (p. 218; my emphasis). Unfortunately, defeasibility in context makes the analysis noncompositional: if a rule is defeasible in context, we cannot explain on linguistic grounds how a human being can understand sentences never heard before. By allowing defeasibility in context, the analysis sidesteps the problem of having multiply polysemous adjectives that change their meaning depending on the noun they modify, but only by transferring the problem onto the noun: now it is nouns that are multiply polysemous and change their meaning depending on the context.

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