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21 Mar 2006
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£76.00
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9781403949189
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DescriptionContentsAuthors

Ian Mackenzie questions the status quo in Romance linguistics regarding such matters as auxiliary selection, partitive cliticization, bare subjects, participle agreement , and more. For the last two decades the Ergative/Unaccusative syntactic approach has been accepted as the orthodox analytical paradigm. He here re-examines both the theoretical imperative and the empirical evidence for that approach, drawing on a large amount of new and surprising data from Italian, Spanish, French and Catalan, and concludes that it is essentially unmotivated. Alternative explanations for the phenomena are advanced, based on information structure, semantics and the impact on synchrony of diachronic change. The picture that emerges is one of a complex but interrelated set of causalities that simple dichotomies such as that enshrined in the unaccusative-unergative contrast do no more than label.


Description

Ian Mackenzie questions the status quo in Romance linguistics regarding such matters as auxiliary selection, partitive cliticization, bare subjects, participle agreement , and more. For the last two decades the Ergative/Unaccusative syntactic approach has been accepted as the orthodox analytical paradigm. He here re-examines both the theoretical imperative and the empirical evidence for that approach, drawing on a large amount of new and surprising data from Italian, Spanish, French and Catalan, and concludes that it is essentially unmotivated. Alternative explanations for the phenomena are advanced, based on information structure, semantics and the impact on synchrony of diachronic change. The picture that emerges is one of a complex but interrelated set of causalities that simple dichotomies such as that enshrined in the unaccusative-unergative contrast do no more than label.


Contents

List of Tables
Acknowledgements
Sources of Historical Examples
The Ergative Analysis and the Unaccusative Hypothesis
Expletive Inversion
Partitive Cliticization
Bare Subjects
Perfect Auxiliary Selection
Past Participle Agreement
Participial Absolutes
Conclusion
Notes
References
Index


Authors

IAN E. MACKENZIE is Senior Lecturer in Spanish at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. His specialist areas are Spanish syntax and semantics, philosophy of language and Spanish in Latin America. He is the author of four books including Spanish: an Essential Grammar (with Peter T. Bradley),