9781107017757

Symmetry Breaking in Syntax

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781107017757

  • ISBN10:

    1107017750

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1/28/2013
  • Publisher: Cambridge Univ Pr
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Summary

In this illuminating new theory of grammar, Hubert Haider demonstrates that there is a basic asymmetry in the phrase structure of any language, whatever sentence structure it takes. Moreover, he argues that understanding this asymmetry is the key to understanding the grammatical causality underlying a broad range of core syntactic phenomena. Until now, Germanic languages have been seen to fall into two distinct classes: those which take an object-verb sentence structure (OV) or a verb-object one (VO). However, by examining the nature of this universal underlying asymmetry, Hubert Haider reveals a third syntactic type: 'Type III'. In particular, he employs the third type to explore the cognitive evolution of grammar which gave rise to the structural asymmetry and its typological implications. Symmetry Breaking in Syntax will appeal to academic researchers and graduate students involved in comparative and theoretical syntax and the cognitive evolution of grammar.

Table of Contents

What breaks the symmetry in syntactic structures
Linearizations are public, structures are private
BBC - asymmetry in phrase structuring
The cross-linguistic impact of the BBC
The Germanic OV/VO split
Adverbial positions in VO and in OV
Elements of the third kind - resultative predicates and particles - in OV and VO
Asymmetry in nominal structures - word and phrase structure
BBC or LCA? - fact finding and evaluation
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