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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton January 1, 2012

Natural Syntax of English: transitivity

Janez Orešnik


The framework of this paper is Natural Syntax initiated by the author in the tradition of (morphological) naturalness as established by Wolfgang U. Dressler and Willi Mayerthaler. Natural Syntax is a pseudodeductive linguistic theory, and this is its most recent version. The naturalness judgements are couched in naturalness scales, which follow from the basic parameters (or "axioms") listed at the beginning of the paper. The predictions of the theory are calculated in what are known as deductions, the chief components of each being a pair of naturalness scales and the rules governing the alignment of corresponding naturalness values. Parallel and chiastic alignment is distinguished and related to Henning Andersen's early work on markedness. The basic idea is to illustrate how a (pseudo)deductive theory of syntax performs if it insists on avoiding abstract solutions, and in particular on excluding any generative component. Natural Syntax is exemplified here with selected English cases of transitivity. Special attention is given to relative-frequency phenomena.

Received: 2011-08-10
Revised: 2012-02-27
Accepted: 2012-03-14
Published Online: 2012
Published in Print: 2012

© School of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland, 2012

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