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Extraction, movement and dependency theory

Kreps, Christian; (1998) Extraction, movement and dependency theory. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

My aim in this thesis is to explore the potential of a dependency-based theory of syntax to account for extraction phenomena in English. Dependency grammars differ from constituency-based theories in expressing syntactic structure through direct relations between words rather than through their participation in phrase structure. However, whereas the majority of syntactic theories employing a phrase structure formalism have relatively well-developed accounts of extraction, dependency-based accounts have, in comparison, been virtually non-existent. This is surprising given that extraction phenomena constitute a key body of data, and an important test of a theory's capacity to account for long-distance syntactic relations. In order to account for these data theories have often suggested complex analyses involving multiple levels of representation and syntactic movement. However, in this thesis I hope to show that a monostratal theory of dependency with no such process of syntactic movement can provide a plausible and adequate account of extraction, which may compete on an equal footing with more complex approaches advanced in constituency-based theories. After presenting a wide range of extraction data in the first chapter, in the second and third chapters I compare and contrast accounts of these data formulated within Principles and Parameters Theory, representing the constituency-oriented linguistic mainstream, and Word Grammar, the only dependency theory to offer any account of extraction phenomena. The fourth chapter will outline an alternative theory of dependency syntax, which I will refer to as Licensing Grammar (LG). Although LG takes Word Grammar as its starting point, it incorporates many significant differences from this and other theories, notably in its reformulation of dependency in terms of licensing. The fifth chapter then examines how LG, when integrated with a relatively simple parsing system, can serve as the basis of an effective account of extraction data.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Extraction, movement and dependency theory
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics; Dependency syntax
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10105121
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