Case Grammar and the Demise of Deep Structure

John M. Anderson

in Modern Grammars of Case

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780199297078
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191711404 | DOI:
 Case Grammar and the Demise of Deep Structure

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This chapter is concerned with criticisms of early case grammar (including phenomena to do with ‘holisticness’), particularly defences of ‘deep structure’ and its lexical role. It presents earlier arguments against the notion of ‘unaccusativity’ as unitary and as resolving various lexical and syntax problems in non-case-grammars, against the lexical relevance to the lexicon of grammatical relations or the configurations that define them, and against non-case-grammar formulations of syntactic processes, such as ‘raising’. It comments on the belated recognition of semantic relations as ‘thematic relations’ in the main transformational tradition, and the uncertainty of their role in linguistic formulations. It is argued that contrary to this tardy and grudging recognition, the motivations offered for a level of ‘deep structure’, including so-called ‘subject/object asymmetries’, could already be seen to be inadequate at an early stage.

Keywords: holistic; partitive; deep structure; unaccusative; raising; lexical relationships; thematic relations

Chapter.  9038 words. 

Subjects: Semantics

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