|About the Book|
In Uttering Trees, Norvin Richards investigates the conditions imposedupon syntax by the need to create syntactic objects that can be interpreted byphonology--that is, objects that can be pronounced. Drawing extensively onlinguistic data from aMoreIn Uttering Trees, Norvin Richards investigates the conditions imposedupon syntax by the need to create syntactic objects that can be interpreted byphonology--that is, objects that can be pronounced. Drawing extensively onlinguistic data from a variety of languages, including Japanese, Basque, Tagalog, Spanish, Kinande (Bantu language spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo), and Chaha (Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia), Richards makes two new proposalsabout the relationship between syntax and phonology. The first, Distinctness, has to do with the process of imposing a linear order onthe constituents of the tree. Richards claims that syntactic nodes with manyproperties in common cannot be directly linearized and must be kept structurallydistant from each other. He argues that a variety of syntactic phenomena can beexplained by this generalization, including much of what has traditionally beencovered by case theory. Richardss second proposal, Beyond Strength andWeakness, is an attempt to predict, for any given language, whether thatlanguage will exhibit overt or covert wh-movement. Richards argues that we canpredict whether or not a language can leave wh in situ by investigating more generalproperties of its prosody. This proposal offers an explanation for across-linguistic difference--that wh-phrases move overtly in some languages andcovertly in others--that has hitherto been simply stipulated. In both these areas, it appears that syntax begins constructing a phonological representation earlierthan previously thought- constraints on both word order and prosody begin at thebeginning of the derivation.