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Evidence from Formosan for a unified theory of adverb ordering

Holmer, Arthur LU (2012) In Lingua 122(8). p.902-921
Abstract
This paper presents evidence from the Austronesian languages of Taiwan (Formosan languages) bearing on the ongoing debate between followers of Cinque (1999: Adverbs and functional heads) and Ernst (2002: The syntax of adjuncts): are adverbs adjoined to the clause, with semantically determined ordering, or are they located in functional projections in the backbone of the clause, with the ordering determined by universal hierarchical structure? Here it is shown that while the phenomenon of adverbial verbs in Formosan languages cannot be captured under an adjunction analysis, ordering facts still appear to be semantically, rather than structurally, determined. It follows that these two issues.(structure and ordering) must be teased apart. It... (More)
This paper presents evidence from the Austronesian languages of Taiwan (Formosan languages) bearing on the ongoing debate between followers of Cinque (1999: Adverbs and functional heads) and Ernst (2002: The syntax of adjuncts): are adverbs adjoined to the clause, with semantically determined ordering, or are they located in functional projections in the backbone of the clause, with the ordering determined by universal hierarchical structure? Here it is shown that while the phenomenon of adverbial verbs in Formosan languages cannot be captured under an adjunction analysis, ordering facts still appear to be semantically, rather than structurally, determined. It follows that these two issues.(structure and ordering) must be teased apart. It is claimed that the structure, for Formosan at any rate, must be as proposed by Cinque, while the ordering rather seems to behave as would be expected under Ernst's analysis. Reconciling these two viewpoints implies a new view of syntactic structure which eliminates the clear distinction between adjuncts and functional projections, and which incidentally also points towards a solution of the innateness problem, suggesting that universal syntactic principles do not encode labelled structure as such, but merely cognitive tools for building structure. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Formosan, Adverbial verb, Cinque, Ernst, Ordering
in
Lingua
volume
122
issue
8
pages
902 - 921
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000305038800005
  • scopus:84861225790
ISSN
0024-3841
DOI
10.1016/j.lingua.2012.03.003
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
900fe3bb-826c-455e-951d-c9135fb87c8d (old id 2896945)
date added to LUP
2012-07-24 11:19:35
date last changed
2017-01-01 05:39:36
@article{900fe3bb-826c-455e-951d-c9135fb87c8d,
  abstract     = {This paper presents evidence from the Austronesian languages of Taiwan (Formosan languages) bearing on the ongoing debate between followers of Cinque (1999: Adverbs and functional heads) and Ernst (2002: The syntax of adjuncts): are adverbs adjoined to the clause, with semantically determined ordering, or are they located in functional projections in the backbone of the clause, with the ordering determined by universal hierarchical structure? Here it is shown that while the phenomenon of adverbial verbs in Formosan languages cannot be captured under an adjunction analysis, ordering facts still appear to be semantically, rather than structurally, determined. It follows that these two issues.(structure and ordering) must be teased apart. It is claimed that the structure, for Formosan at any rate, must be as proposed by Cinque, while the ordering rather seems to behave as would be expected under Ernst's analysis. Reconciling these two viewpoints implies a new view of syntactic structure which eliminates the clear distinction between adjuncts and functional projections, and which incidentally also points towards a solution of the innateness problem, suggesting that universal syntactic principles do not encode labelled structure as such, but merely cognitive tools for building structure. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Holmer, Arthur},
  issn         = {0024-3841},
  keyword      = {Formosan,Adverbial verb,Cinque,Ernst,Ordering},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {902--921},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Lingua},
  title        = {Evidence from Formosan for a unified theory of adverb ordering},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2012.03.003},
  volume       = {122},
  year         = {2012},
}