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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton July 27, 2005

Re: CycLin and the role of PF in Object Shift

  • Jonathan David Bobaljik
From the journal

Abstract

This volume’s two target articles explore novel approaches to word order alternations, especially Scandinavian Object Shift. They share the common perspective that aspects of linear order long considered the exclusive purview of syntax may be better understood if the burden of explanation is split between phonological and syntactic modules. The two articles differ substantially, however, in how this general hunch plays out, in particular in the amount of the explanation that is attributed to extra-syntactic factors. Fox and Pesetsky’s ‘‘Cyclic Linearization’’ model (hereafter F&P, CycLin) is compatible with familiar syntactic models, and can be seen as a filter running (cyclically) on the output of syntactic derivations. F&P suggest that their proposal can explain various heretofore stipulated conditions on syntactic operations as consequences of the architecture of their system and a single axiom about linearization. Erteschik-Shir’s proposal in ‘‘Sound Patterns of Syntax’’ (hereafter E-S) is more radical, in the sense that far less of the familiar syntax is retained; where for CycLin movement is still a syntactic process, on E-S’s view a good deal of traditionally syntactic movement must be rethought in linear, rather than hierarchical terms. Both articles are largely exploratory and leave many of the details still to be spelled-out. To engage the ideas on specifics, then, will involve to some degree making some educated guesses about what ancillary assumptions the relevant authors might condone. I will therefore restrict myself to a few comments at a general level, though it will be impossible to do justice to these authors’ ideas in the allotted space.

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Published Online: 2005-07-27
Published in Print: 2005-05-20

© Walter de Gruyter

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