Discourse Phenomena as a Window to the Interfaces



This paper examines the two lines of analysis that are generally pursued when dealing with discourse phenomena in the generative tradition: syntactico-centric and interface-based approaches. Syntactico-centric analyses are criticized because they need construction-specific mechanisms, while interface-based analyses sometimes challenge standard assumptions about the architecture of grammar. The discussion is mainly theoretical, but three case studies serve as exemplification: focalization, ellipsis and parentheticals. The second part of the paper is focused on parentheticals; a brief proposal is presented regarding the distinction between free and anchored parentheticals from a syntax-phonology interface perspective. The general conclusion is that following an interface-based perspective to approach discourse phenomena can help us gain new insights about the nature of the interfaces and their role in grammar.


syntax-phonology interface, cartography, ellipsis, focalization, parentheticals


Abe, Jun. 2014. Make short answers shorter: support for the in-situ approach. Ms. Tohoko Gakuin University.

Aboh, Enoch O. 2010. Information structuring begins with the numeration. Iberia 2(1): 12-42.

Ackema, Peter & Neeleman, Ad. 2004. Beyond morphology: Interface conditions on word formation, vol. 6. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Adger, David & Svenonius, Peter. 2011. Features in minimalist syntax. In Cedric Boeckx. The Oxford handbook of linguistic minimalism, 27-51. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Aelbrecht, Lobke. 2010. The syntactic licensing of ellipsis, vol. 149. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.

Astruc-Aguilera, Maria Lluïsa. 2005. The intonation of extra-sentential elements in Catalan and English. Doctoral dissertation, University of Cambridge.

Bañeras Carrió, María. 2016. La Periferia izquierda de la oración. Bases de una pro¬puesta configuracional. Ms. UAB.

Belletti, Adriana. 2004. Aspects of the low IP area. In Rizzi, Luigi (ed.). The structure of CP and IP. The cartography of syntactic structures, 2, 16-51. Oxford: Oxford University Press on Demand.

Bolinger, Dwight. 1986. Intonation and Its Parts: Melody in Spoke English. London: Arnold.

Bošković, Željko. 2014. Now I’m a phase, now I’m not a phase: On the variability of phases with extraction and ellipsis. Linguistic Inquiry 45(1): 27-89.

Burton-Roberts, Noel. 2005. Parentheticals. In Brown, E.K. (ed.). Encyclopaedia of Language and Linguistics. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Brunetti, Lisa. 2003. “Information” Focus Movement in Italian and Contextual Constraints on Ellipsis. In L.M. Tsujimura & G. Garding (eds.). WCCFL 22 Proceedings. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press, 95-108.

Cerrudo, Alba. 2015. Los parentéticos, entre la sintaxis y la parataxis. Un análisis derivacional de las construcciones parentéticas reducidas y con clítico. MA thesis. UAB.

Cerrudo, Alba. 2016. Cyclic transfer in the derivation of Complete Parenthetical Clauses. Borealis–An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics 5(1): 59-85.

Cerrudo, Alba. 2017. Reprojection in Fragment Amalgams. Evidence from Spanish. 47th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages. 20/04/2017. University of Delaware, Newark, EEUU.

Chomsky, Noam. 1995. The minimalist program. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Chomsky, Noam. 2000. Minimalist Inquiries: The Framework. In R. Martin, D. Michaels & J. Uriagereka. Step by Step. Essays on Minimalist Syntax in Honour of Howard Lasnik. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 89-155.

Chomsky, Noam. 2001. Derivation by phase. In Michael Kenstowicz (ed.). Ken: Hale: A life in language, 1-52. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Chomsky, Noam. 2004. Beyond explanatory adequacy. Structures and Beyond. In Belletti, Adriana (ed.). The cartography of syntactic structures, vol. 3, 104-131.

Chomsky, Noam & Lasnik, Howard. 1993. A minimalist program for linguistic theory. In Kenneth Hale & Samuel J. Keyser (eds.). The view from building. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1-52.

Cinque, Guglielmo. 1993. A null theory of phrase and compound stress. Linguistic inquiry 24(2): 239-297.

Cinque, Guglielmo. 1999. Adverbs and functional heads: A cross-linguistic perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press on Demand.

Cinque, Guglielmo (ed.). 2002. Functional structure in DP and IP: The cartography of syntactic structures (Vol. 1). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cinque, Guglielmo & Rizzi, Luigi. 2008. The cartography of syntactic structures. Studies in linguistics 2: 42-58.

Corver, Norbert & Thiersch, Craig. 2002. Remarks on parentheticals. In Oosterdorp, M. van & Agnastopoulou, E. (eds.). Progress in grammar: articles at the 20th anniversary of the comparison of grammatical models in Tilburg. Utrecht: Roquade.

Dehé, Nicole & Kavalova, Yolanda. 2007. Parentheticals: An introduction. In Parentheticals. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1-24.

Demonte, Violeta & Fernández-Soriano, Olga. 2009. Force and finiteness in the Spanish complementizer system. Probus 21(1): 23-49.

Dobashi, Yoshihito. 2003. Phonological phrasing and syntactic derivation. PhD diss. Cornell University.

Dobashi, Yoshihito. 2009. Multiple spell-out, assembly problem, and syntax-phonology mapping. In Phonological Domains: Universals and Deviations. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 195-220.

Döring, Sandra. 2015. Parentheticals are–presumably–CPs. In Parenthesis and Ellipsis. Berlin: De Gruyter, 109-145.

Emonds, Joseph. 1973. Parenthetical clauses. In You take the high node and I’ll take the low node, 333-347.

Erteschik-Shir, Nomi. 1997. The dynamics of focus structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Erteschik-Shir, Nomi. 2007. Information structure: The syntax-discourse interface (Vol. 3). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Espinal, Maria Teresa. 1991. The representation of disjunct constituents. Language 67: 726-762.

Espinal, Maria Teresa & Villalba, Xavier. 2015. Ambiguity resolution and information structure. The Linguistic Review 32(1): 61-85.

Feldhausen, Ingo. 2010. Sentential form and prosodic structure of Catalan (Vol. 168). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.

Fabb, Nigel. 1990. The difference between: English restrictive and nonrestrictive rela¬tive clauses. Journal of Linguistics 26(1): 57-77.

Fox, Danny & Pesetsky, David. 2005. Cyclic linearization of syntactic structure. Theoretical linguistics 31(1-2): 1-45.

Gallego, Ángel. 2013. The Basic Elements of the Left Periphery. Ms. UAB.

Gallego, Ángel. 2014. Cartografía sintáctica. Revista Española de Lingüística 41(2), 25-56.

Giorgi, Alessandra. 2012. Prosodic signals as syntactic formatives in the left periphery. Manuscript available on http://ling. auf. net/lingbuzz/001625

Griffiths, J. 2013. Parenthetical verb constructions, fragment answers, and constituent modification. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 33(1): 191-229.

Griffiths, James & Günes, Güliz. 2015. Ki issues in Turkish. In Kluck, Ott & de Vries (eds.). Parenthesis and ellipsis: cross-linguistic and theoretical perspectives (Vol. 121). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG.

Griffiths, James & De Vries, Mark. 2013. The syntactic integration of appositives: evidence from fragments and ellipsis. Linguistic Inquiry 44(2): 332-344.

Haegeman, Liliane. 1988. Parenthetical adverbials: the radical orphanage approach. In Chiba, S. (ed.). Aspects of Modern English Linguistics. Tokyo: Kaitakushi, 232-254.

Haegeman, Liliane & Hill, Virginia. 2013. The syntacticization of discourse. Syntax and its limits 48: 370-390.

Hamlaoui, Fatima & Szendrői, Kriszta. 2015. A flexible approach to the mapping of intonational phrases. Phonology 32(1): 79-110.

Hartmann, Katherine. 2000. Right node raising and gapping. Interface conditions on prosodic deletion. Philadelphia/Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Hedberg, Nancy & Elouazizi, Noureddine. 2015. Epistemic Parenthetical Verb Phrases: C-Command, Semantic Scope and Prosodic Phrasing. In Schneider, S., Glikman, J. & Avanzi, M. (eds.). Parenthetical verbs. Berlin/Boston/Munich: Walter de Gruyter, 225-257.

Heringa, Herman. 2011. Appositional Constructions. PhD Diss. Groningen: LOT: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics.

Hernanz, Maria Lluïsa. 2010. Assertive bien in Spanish and the left periphery. Mapping the left periphery. The cartography of syntactic structures 5: 19-62.

Irurtzun, Aritz. 2009. Why Y: on the centrality of syntax in the architecture of grammar. Catalan Journal of Linguistics 8: 141-160.

Jackendoff, Ray. 1997. The architecture of the language faculty (No. 28). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Johannessen, Janne Bondi. 1998. Coordination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kaltenböck, Gunther. 2007. Spoken parenthetical clauses in English. A taxono¬my. In Nicole Dehé & Yordanka Kavalova (eds.). Parentheticals. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 25-52.

Kayne, Richard. 1994. The antisymmetry of syntax. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Kluck, Marlies. 2011. Sentence amalgamation. PhD diss. LOT Dissertation Series: Utrecht.

Kluck, Marlies. 2015. On representing anchored parentheses in syntax. In Josef Bayer & Andreas Trotzke (eds.). Syntactic Complexity across Interfaces. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 107-136.

Koster, Jan. 1999. De primaire structuur. TABU 29: 131-140.

Lekakou, Marika. 2000. Focus in modern Greek. Unpublished MA Dissertation, University College London.

Lobeck, Anne C. 1995. Ellipsis: Functional heads, licensing, and identification. Oxford: Oxford University Press on Demand.

López, Luis. 2014. A derivational syntax for information structure (Vol. 23). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Matos, Gabriela. 2013. Quotative Inversion in Peninsular Portuguese and Spanish, and in English. Catalan Journal of Linguistics 12: 111-130.

McCawley, James D. 1982. Parentheticals and discontinuous constituent structure. Linguistic Inquiry 13: 91-106.

Merchant, Jason. 2001. The Syntax of Silence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Merchant, Jason. 2004. Fragments and ellipsis. Linguistics and Philosophy 27: 661-738.

Munn, Alan Boag. 1993. Topics in the syntax and semantics of coordinate structures. PhD diss. University of Maryland.

Neeleman, Ad & Van de Koot, Hans. 2008. Dutch scrambling and the nature of discourse templates. The Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 11(2): 137-189.

Neeleman, Ad, Titov, E., Van de Koot, Hans & Vermeulen, R. 2009. A syntactic typology of topic, focus and contrast. In Van Craenenbroeck, J. (ed.). Alternatives to Cartography, 15-52. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Nespor, Marina & Vogel, Irene. 1986. Prosodic Phonology. Dordrecht: Foris.

Neeleman, Ad & Reinhart, Tanya. 1998. Scrambling and the PF-interface. In Miriam Butt & Wilhelm Geuder (eds.). The 271 projection of arguments: lexical and com¬positional factors, 309-353. Chicago: CSLI Publications.

Newell, Heather. 2008. Aspects of the morphology and phonology of phases. Doctoral dissertation, McGill University.

Nilsen, Øystein. 2003. Eliminating positions: Syntax and semantics of sentence modi¬fication. PhD diss. Utrecht University.

Ortega-Santos, Iván, Yoshida, Masaya & Nakao, C. 2014. On ellipsis structures involv¬ing a wh-remnant and a non-wh-remnant simultaneously. Lingua 138: 55-85.

Ott, Dennis. 2015. Connectivity in left-dislocation and the composition of the left periphery. Linguistic Variation 15.2: 225-290.

Ott, Dennis. 2016a. Fragment Anchors Do Not Support the Syntactic Integration of Appositive Relative Clauses: Reply to Griffiths and De Vries 2013. Linguistic Inquiry 47(3): 580-590.

Ott, Dennis. 2016b. Ellipsis in appositives. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics 1(1): 34.

Ott, Dennis & Struckmeier, Volker. 2016. Deletion in clausal ellipsis: remnants in the middle field. In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Penn Linguistics Conference 22, 225-234.

Ott, Dennis & Onea, Edgar. 2015. On the form and meaning of appositives. In Thuy Bui & Deniz Ozyildiz (eds.). Proceedings of NELS 45, vol. 2, 203-212. Amherst, MA: GLSA.

Payà, Marta. 2003. Prosody and pragmatics in parenthetical insertions in Catalan. Catalan Journal of Linguistics 2: 207-227.

Peterson, Peter. 1999. On the boundaries of syntax. In P. Collins & D. Lee (eds.). The Clause in English. In Honour of Rodney Huddleston. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 229-250.

Pollock, Jean-Yves. 1989. Verb movement, universal grammar, and the structure of IP. Linguistic inquiry 20(3): 365-424.

Potts, Cristopher. 2005. The Logic of Conventional Implicatures. Oxford: OUP.

Reinhart, Tanya. 1995. Interface Strategies. OTS working papers in Linguistics (to appear in MIT Press).

Reinhart, Tanya. 2006. Interface strategies. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Rigau Oliver, Gemma. 1981. Gramática del discurs. PhD diss. Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Rizzi, Luigi. 1997. The fine structure of the left periphery. In Elements of grammar, 281-337. Dordrecht: Springer.

Rizzi, Luigi. 2004. Locality and left periphery. Structures and beyond: The cartography of syntactic structures 3: 223-251.

Rizzi, Luigi. 2006. On the form of chains: Criterial positions and ECP effects. Current Studies in Linguistics Series 42: 97.

Rooryck, Johan. 2001a. Evidentiality, part I. Glot International 5(4): 125-133.

Rooryck, Johan. 2001b. Evidentiality, part II. Glot International 5(5): 161-168.

Rooth, Mats. 1992. A theory of focus interpretation. Natural Language Semantics 1: 75-116.

Ross, John Robert. 1973. Slifting. In Gross, Maurice; Halle, Morris & Schützenberger, M-P (eds.). The formal analysis of natural languages. Proceedings of the first international conference. The Hague: Mouton, 133-169.

Safir, Ken. 1986. Relative clauses in a theory of binding and levels. Linguistic Inquiry 17(4): 663-89.

Samek-Lodovici, Vieri. 2005. Prosody–syntax interaction in the expression of focus. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 23(3): 687-755.

Samek-Lodovici, Vieri. 2015. The Interaction of Focus, Givenness, and Prosody. A Study of Italian Clause Structure. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Samuels, Bridget D. 2009. The structure of phonological theory. PhD diss. Harvard University.

Sato, Yosuke. 2012. Multiple Spell-Out and Contraction at the Syntax–Phonology Interface. Syntax 15(3): 287-314.

Scheer, Tobias. 2011. A guide to morphosyntax-phonology interface theories: how extra-phonological information is treated in phonology since Trubetzkoy’s Grenzsignale. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Selkirk, Elisabeth. 1981. On prosodic structure and its relation to syntactic structure. In Thorstein Fretheim (ed.). Nordic Prosody 11: 111-140. Trondheim: TAPIR.

Stowell, Timothy. 2017. Qualified parenthetical adjuncts. In Mayr, Clemens & Williams, E. (eds.). Festschrift Für Martin Prinzhorn. Universität Wien.

Szendrői, Kriszta. 2001. Focus and the syntax-phonology interface. PhD diss., University College London.

Speas, Peggy & Tenny, Carol. 2003. Configurational properties of point of view roles. Asymmetry in Grammar 1: 315-345.

Taglicht, Josef. 1998. Constraints on intonational phrasing in English. Journal of Linguistics 34(1): 181-211.

Tancredi, Christopher. 1992. Deletion, deaccenting and presupposition. PhD diss. Cambridge, MA: MIT.

Tannen, Deborah, Heidi E. Hamilton & Schiffrin, Deborah. 2015. The handbook of discourse analysis. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Truckenbrodt, Hubert. 2015. Intonation phrases and speech acts. In Kluck, Marlies, Ott, Dennis & Vries, Mark de (eds.). Parenthesis and ellipsis: Cross-linguistic and theoretical perspectives, 301-349. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Uriagereka, Juan. 1999. Multiple Spell-Out. In S. Epstein & N. Hornstein (eds.). Working Minimalism. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 251-282.

Uriagereka, Juan. 2002a. Multiple Spell-Out. In J. Uriagereka. Derivations. Exploring the Dynamics of Syntax. London/New York: Routledge, 45-65.

Uriagereka, Juan. 2002b. Evidential Contexts, ms. UMD.

Uriagereka, Juan. 2004. Multiple Spell-Out Consequences, ms. UMD.

Valmala, Vidal. 2007. The syntax of little things. Ms. UPV/EHU.

Valmala, Vidal. 2014. Island repair by ellipsis: handle with care. In XI Workshop onSyn¬tax, Semantics and Phonology.

Vallduvi, Enric. 1992. The Informational Component. New York: Garland.

Vallduví, Enric & Engdahl, Elisabet. 1996. The linguistic realization of information packaging. Linguistics 34(3): 459-520.

Van Craenenbroeck, Jeroen (ed.). 2009. Alternatives to cartography (Vol. 100). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Villa-García, Julio. 2015. The syntax of multiple-que sentences in Spanish: Along the left periphery (Vol. 2). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Villa-García, Julio. 2016. TP-ellipsis with a polarity particle in multiple-complemen¬tizer contexts in Spanish: on topical remnants and focal licensors. Borealis–An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics 5(2): 135-172.

Vries, Mark de. 2007. Invisible Constituents? Parentheses as B-Merged Adverbial Phrases. In Nicole Dehé & Yordanka Kavalova (eds.). Parentheticals. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 203-234.

Wagner, Michael. 2009. Focus, Topic and Word order: A compositional view. In J. van Craenenbroeck (ed.). Alternatives to cartography. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 53-86.

Weir, Andrew. 2014. Fragments and clausal ellipsis. PhD thesis. Amherst: University of Massachusetts.

Wichmann, Anne. 2001. Spoken parentheticals. In Karin Aijmer (ed.). A Wealth of English, 177-193. Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis.

Wiltschko, Martina & Heim, Johannes. 2016. The syntax of confirmationals. Outside the Clause: Form and function of extra-clausal constituents 178: 305.

Zubizarreta, María Luisa. 1998. Prosody, focus, and word order. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.




Download data is not yet available.