Syntactic structures and morphological information

Syntactic structures and morphological information. Ed. by Uwe Junghanns and Luka Szucsich. (Interface explorations 7.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2003. Pp. xxxii, 394. ISBN 3110178249. $108 (Hb).

Reviewed by Mohammad Rasekh Mahand, Bu-Ali Sina University

This book is a collection of papers presented at a workshop entitled ‘Clause structure and models of grammar from the perspective of languages with rich morphology’ at the 23rd meeting of the German Linguistic Society (February 2001, University of Leipzig). The present volume contains an introduction by the editors and ten papers.

Tania Avgustinova, in ‘Metagrammar of syntactic relations: A study with special reference to Slavic morphosyntax’, outlines a standardized taxonomy for describing systematic relations in grammar that includes both a hierarchy of relational types and a way of cross-classifying different relational types. Huba Bartos, in ‘On-line morphology: The morphosyntax of Hungarian’, investigates verbal morphology in Hungarian that appears to violate Mark Baker’s mirror principle (The mirror principle and morphosyntactic explanation. Linguistic Inquiry 16.373–415, 1985). The author claims that morphology ‘shadows’ syntax, but deviations from this shadowing may arise due to the interaction of various principles in morphology with scopal properties of the morphemes in question.

In ‘Verbal morphology and agreement in Urdu’, Miriam Butt and Louisa Sadler explore where morphology fits into a grammar; by considering case and agreement in Urdu within a lexical-functional grammar approach. Gisella Ferraresi and Maria Goldbach, in ‘Particles and sentence structure: A historical perspective’, examine the loss of the Old French sentence particle si ‘thus’, hypothesizing that such a syntactic change depends on changes in conditions of the interfaces. In ‘Subject case in Turkish nominalized clauses’, Jaklin Kornfilt discusses adjunct-argument asymmetry, and posits a role for the argument–adjunct distinction in the determination of the case of the subject.

Esther Rinke, in ‘On the licensing of null subjects in Old French’, discusses the licensing conditions in Old French that allow for omission of referential subjects. Andrew Spencer, in ‘Periphrastic paradigms in Bulgarian’, considers how periphrastic constructions for tense and aspect fit into notions of what a paradigm is. In ‘Transparent, restricted and opaque affix orders’, Barbara Stiebles offers a programmatic overview of the ordering of affixes marking diathesis. Jochen Tromer, in ‘Direction marking as agreement’, analyzes person marking and direction marking (for arguments) in Turkana and Menominee languages within a constraint-based framework, distributed optimality. Finally, Ilse Zimmermann, in ‘On the semantics of cases’, deals with the semantics of case in Modern Standard Russian, arguing for abstract semantico-syntactic features that that characterize the structural cases of complements.