This book examines the nature, creation, and comprehension of constructions in which words that go together in meaning occur arbitrarily far away from each other. It provides a detailed survey of the factors responsible for their creation and comprehension, alongside new experimental evidence and suggestions for future research.
- Offers a comprehensive overview of unbounded dependency constructions and their constraints
- Provides a detailed comparison of movement-based and non-movement-based accounts
- Includes new experimental data that challenge long-standing theoretical assumptions
About the Author(s)
Rui P. Chaves, Associate Professor of Linguistics, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, and Michael T. Putnam, Associate Professor of German and Linguistics, Penn State University
Rui P. Chaves is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. His work focuses on how linguistic knowledge interfaces with cognition, and in particular with probabilistic information that shapes linguistic behavior. He has specialized in formally explicit construction-based models of grammar.
Michael T. Putnam is Associate Professor of German and Linguistics at Penn State University. His research focuses on achieving a more refined understanding of linguistic phenomena along the morphology-syntax-semantics continuum. He has a particular interest in Germanic languages and the effects of bilingualism across the lifespan.
"The fact that Chaves and Putnam are both arguing for certain positions and setting out a research programme makes this a work of considerable importance [...] If the book has the impact that it deserves, syntactic research will come to look rather different. Put simply, there will be more work aiming to develop analyses that can be incorporated into models of language use and more work utilizing appropriate experiments to disentangle the sources of speakers' judgements. It will be an important and very welcome change, perhaps even paradigm shift." - Robert D. Borsley, Journal of Linguistics
"In a real tour de force, Chaves and Putnam examine a wide range of unbounded dependency constructions, including some rarely noted ones, and bring to bear on them the perspectives of all the major theories of syntax, as well as language processing and language acquisition. This book should be studied by syntacticians and psycholinguists of all persuasions." - Ray Jackendoff, Tufts University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"Chaves and Putnam delight us with an excellent survey of one of the central topics in syntactic theory. They combine empirical depth with a broad theoretical overview, including recent processing and experimental research. Bringing together multiple perspectives, they provide an accessible and thought-provoking exposition of the debates surrounding long-distance syntactic dependencies. The synthesis is a remarkable achievement and a major step forward in our understanding of the subject." - Márta Abrusán, Institut Jean Nicod
"This book provides a beautiful, timely summary of research on unbounded dependency constructions across many constructions and languages. The authors summarize all current views, including movement-, non-movement-, memory-, and experience-based approaches, and they offer exciting new data that offers support for the experience-based view for some of these phenomena. This is an easy-to-read book that should be of interest to linguists and cognitive scientists alike." - Ted Gibson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"Unbounded dependency constructions have played an important role in linguistic theory for more than 50 years. In this volume, Chaves and Putnam present a comprehensive survey of this research with a large number of well-chosen examples and detailed references. This will be very useful to both established and beginning linguists. The authors compare movement-based theories such as Chomsky's Minimalist Program with non-movement-based theories which adopt Gazdar's seminal proposal to replace movement with feature percolation. The formal properties of these two types of theories are scrutinized and evaluated from the perspective of language processing and acquisition,
leading to the authors' own constructivist exemplar-based model of how island constraints emerge." - Elisabet Engdahl, University of Gothenburg