Grammatical categories (e.g. complementizer, negation, auxiliary, case) are some of the most important building blocks of syntax and morphology. Categorization therefore poses fundamental questions about grammatical structures and about the lexicon from which they are built. Adopting a 'lexicalist' stance, the authors argue that lexical items are not epiphenomena, but really represent the mapping of sound to meaning (and vice versa) that classical conceptions imply. Their rule-governed combination creates words, phrases and sentences - structured by the 'categories' that are the object of the present inquiry. They argue that the distinction between functional and non-functional categories, between content words and inflections, is not as deeply rooted in grammar as is often thought. In their argumentation they lay the emphasis on empirical evidence, drawn mainly from dialectal variation in the Romance languages, as well as from Albanian.
Introduction: the biolinguistic perspective; 1. The structure and interpretation of (Romance) complementizers; 2. Variation in Romance k-complementizer systems; 3. Sentential negation: adverbs; 4. Sentential negation: clitics; 5. The middle-passive voice: evidence from Albanian; 6. The auxiliary: have/be alternations in the perfect; 7. The noun (phrase): agreement, case and definiteness in an Albanian variety; 8. (Definite) denotation and case in Romance: history and variation.
M. Rita Manzini is Full Professor of General Linguistics at the University of Florence. Leonardo M. Savoia is Full Professor of General Linguistics at the University of Florence.
Reviews for Grammatical Categories: Variation in Romance Languages
'Grammatical Categories is a sample of Manzini and Savoia's unique blend of innovative theorizing and painstaking empirical research. Highly recommendable.' Knut Tarald Taraldsen, Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Linguistics, University of Tromso 'Provides insightful solutions ... a must-have on Romance syntax.' Dominique Sportiche, University of California, Los Angeles and ENS, Paris