Journal of Logic, Language and Information

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 251–286 | Cite as

Referent Systems and Relational Grammar

  • Marcus Kracht
Article
  • 78 Downloads

Abstract

Relational Grammar (RG) was introduced in the 1970s as a theory of grammatical relations and relation change, for example, passivization, dative shift, and raising. Furthermore, the idea behind RG was that transformations as originally designed in generative grammar were unable to capture the common kernel of, e.g., passivization across languages. The researchconducted within RG has uncovered a wealth of phenomena for which it could produce a satisfactory analysis. Although the theory of Government and Binding has answered some of the complaints, still it left many phenomena unaccounted for. Referent Systems (RSs) have been introduced by Vermeulen (1995) to overcome certain weaknesses of Dynamic Semantics. Their usefulness has not yet been realized in semantical theory. We shall show here that their significance cannot be overestimated. Namely, we will show in this paper that there exists a fundamental affinity to RG. Both handle the relation between an argument and a functor by means of a shared relational sign, which is unique for each argument. This assignment can be changed. What is interesting is that the notion of a chômeur, which is central to RG, finds a natural treatment in RSs. This coincidence is in our view not accidental but reveals some fundamental properties of the human language faculty.

dynamic semantics grammatical roles referent systems Relational Grammar 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baker, M.C., 1996, The Polysynthesis Parameter, Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Beaver, D., 1995, “Presupposition and assertion in dynamic semantics,” Ph.D. Thesis, Centre for Cognitive Science, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  3. Chung, S., 1983, “An object-creating rule in Bahasa Indonesia,” pp. 219–271 in Studies in Relational Grammar, Vol. 1, D.M. Perlmutter, ed., Chicago: The Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Davies, W.D., 1984, “Antipassive: Choctaw evidence for a universal characterization,” pp. 331–376 in Studies in Relational Grammar, Vol. 2, D.M. Perlmutter and C.G. Rosen, eds., Chicago: The Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Davies, W., 1986 Choctaw Verb Agreement and Universal Grammar, Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  6. Dryer, M.S., 1983, “Indirect objects in Kinyarwanda revisited,” pp. 129–140 in Studies in Relational Grammar, Vol. 1, D.M. Perlmutter, ed., Chicago: The Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Harris, A.C., 1984, “Inversion as a universal rule of grammar: Georgian evidence,” pp. 259–291 in Studies in Relational Grammar, Vol. 2, D.M. Perlmutter and C.G. Rosen, eds., Chicago: The Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Heim, I., 1983, “On the projection problem for presuppositions,” pp. 114–126 in Proceedings of the 2nd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, M. Barlow, D. Flickinger, and D. Westcoat, eds., Stanford, CA: Stanford University.Google Scholar
  9. Kamp, H. and Reyle, U., 1993, From Discourse to Logic, Introduction to Modeltheoretic Semantics of Natural Language, Formal Logic and Discourse Representation Theory, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  10. Kracht, M., 1999, “Agreement morphology, argument structure and syntax,” Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  11. Perlmutter, D.M. and Postal, P.M., 1983, “Some proposed laws of basic clause structure,” pp. 81–128 in Studies in Relational Grammar, Vol. 1, D.M. Perlmutter, ed., Chicago: The Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Perlmutter, D.M. and Postal, P.M., 1984, “The 1-avancement exclusiveness law,” pp. 81–125 in Studies in Relational Grammar, Vol. 2, D.M. Perlmutter and C.G. Rosen, eds., Chicago: The Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Postal, P.M., 1977, “Antipassive in French, ” in Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Meeting of the North-East Linguistics Society, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Rreprinted in Linguisticae Investigationes I, 333–374.Google Scholar
  14. Rosen, C.G., 1984, “The interface between semantic rules and initial grammatical relations,” pp. 38–77 in Studies in Relational Grammar, Vol. 2, D.M. Perlmutter and C.G. Rosen, eds., Chicago: The Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Tesnière, L., 1982, Éléments de Syntaxe Structurale, 4th edition, Paris: Éditions Klicksieck.Google Scholar
  16. Van Eijck, J., 1996, “Presuppositions and dynamic logic,” in Quantifiers, Deduction and Context, M. Kanazawa, C. Piñón, and H. de Swart, eds., Stanford, CA: CSLI.Google Scholar
  17. Van Valin, R.D. and LaPolla, R.J., 1997, Syntax. Structure, Meaning and Function, Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Vermeulen, K.F.M., 1995, “Merging without mystery or: Variables in dynamic semantics,” Journal of Philosophical Logic 24, 405–450.Google Scholar
  19. Vermeulen, K.F.M. and Visser, A., 1996, “Dynamic bracketing and discourse representation,” Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 37, 321–365.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcus Kracht
    • 1
  1. 1.II. Mathematisches InstitutFree University of BerlinBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations