Robert Truswell

in Events, Phrases, and Questions

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199577774
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725319 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics


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This chapter introduces the reader to the semantic and syntactic structures to be elaborated in subsequent chapters. It describes the basic problem of recognizing perceptual and cognitive units, and the relations among them. It then gives a brief history of the development of syntactic locality theory, with particular reference to constraints restricting extraction from adjuncts. The two major current positions, that adjuncts are strong islands or weak islands, are shown to be too restrictive and too permissive, respectively. Furthermore, four puzzles are introduced which suggest that patterns of extraction from adjuncts are at odds with the patterns described by typical locality constraints. The chapter ends by suggesting that the Single Event Condition, a constraint stated over events as perceptual and linguistic units, may usefully supplement locality theory in this area.

Keywords: event structure; locality; wh-movement; condition on extraction domain; connectedness; adjunct islands; syntax–semantics interface

Chapter.  16498 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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