Features, Categories and the Syntax of A-Positions
Features, Categories, and the Syntax of A-Positions investigates various aspects of the distribution of nominal arguments, and in particular the cross-linguistic variation that can be found among the Germanic languages in this domain of the syntax. The empirical topics that are discussed include variable vs. fixed argument order, the distribution of subjects with respect to adjuncts, expletive constructions, and oblique subjecthood. These and many other phenomena are analyzed within a theoretical framework which is based on the Minimalist Program. The book argues that the traditional theoretical devices accounting for the distribution of arguments in generative syntax (abstract Case, the Extended Projection Principle) should be eliminated from the grammar and that their apparent effects can be derived from the feature specifications of syntactic categories. Furthermore, it is shown that several aspects of the cross-linguistic variation found in the syntax of arguments can be related to variation in the domain of inflectional morphology.