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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/11497

  • "I shall assume that only binary branching is permitted." The Development of Binary-branching Theory in English Syntax in Relation to Double Complement Structures
  • May 2012
  • This essay covers the theory of binary-branching in relations to double object and NP+PP complement structures. The discussion moves from generative grammar approaches by Kayne (1986) and Larson (1988) to pre-minimalist approaches by Bowers (1993) and minimalist approaches by Chomsky (1995), Harley (2003, 2007) and Stroik (2001) and finally looks at some opposing approaches headed by Culicover and Jackendoff (2005). The central argument is that strict binary-branching is currently the
    best method for drawing up tree diagrams as made clear by how it is applied in
    double-object structures. Kayne’s reasoning for appealing for a binary-branching
    framework is explored first and then the problem of double object structures and anaphor
    restrictions introduced by Barss and Lasnik (1986). The discussion moves on to examine
    VP shell analysis and its evolvement since its inception by Larson. From there, predicate
    phrase structures, as introduced by Bowers, are explored, as well as his adaptation of the
    VP shell analysis and idea of null causative verbs. The central discussion revolves
    around the minimalist analysis of light verb phrase structures. Some evidence from
    cross-linguistic data and idioms is provided for support of the use of light verbs. The
    most current data provided is Harley’s take on abstract verb entities HAVE and PLoc,
    and how they combine with causative light verbs to form lexical verbs. The essay then
    moves on to examine passives and whether they fit the same framework as double object
    structures or not. The essay concludes with some opposing data to binary-branching
    structures in relations to a linear approach to drawing tree diagrams and subsequent
    rejection of strictly binary-branching structures as argued for by Culicover and
    Jackendoff (2005).

  • May 8, 2012
  • http://hdl.handle.net/1946/11497

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