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The Raising of Predicates
Predicative Noun Phrases and the Theory of Clause Structure


Part of Cambridge Studies in Linguistics

  • Author: Andrea Moro, Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele
  • Date Published: March 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521024785

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About the Authors
  • One of the basic premises of the theory of syntax is that clause structures can be minimally identified as containing a verb phrase, playing the role of predicate, and a noun phrase, playing the role of subject. In this study Andrea Moro identifies a new category of copular sentences, namely inverse copular sentences, where the noun phrase which co-occurs with the verb phrase plays the role of predicate, occupying the position which is canonically reserved for subjects, and the subject is embedded in the verb phrase. The consequences of such a discovery are pervasive. Four distinct areas of syntax are unified into a unique natural class. Along with inverse copular sentences, existential sentences, sentences with seem and unaccusative constructions are analysed as involving the raising of a predicative noun phrase to the most prominent position in the clause structure. In addition, new light is shed on some classical issues such as the distribution and nature of expletives, locality theory, cliticization phenomena, possessive constructions, and the cross-linguistic variations of the Definiteness Effect.

    • The only study which looks specifically at copular and related constructions
    • Identifies a new category of copular sentences
    • Useful appendix traces the history of the copula from its origin up to modern frameworks
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… an illuminating theory of predicate nominal and other copular constructions.' Noam Chomsky

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521024785
    • length: 332 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 154 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.514kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: four apparently unrelated empirical domains
    1. The anomaly of copular sentences: the raising of predicates
    2. The syntax of ci
    3. Are there parameters in semantics? The defining properties of existential sentences
    4. The 'quasi-copula': on the role of finite clauses in seem-sentences
    5. A view beyond: unaccusativity as an epiphenomenon

  • Author

    Andrea Moro, Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele
    Andrea Moro is Full Professor of General Linguistics at University San Raffaele in Milan and Head of the Interfaculty Graduate Program in Cognitive Neuroscience. His publications include The raising of Predicates (1997), published by Cambridge University Press, and Dynamic Antisymmetry (2000).

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