Bentley and Payne in Language!

Posted on December 22, 2013 by

Both our current and former heads of department have landed in this month’s issue of Language, volume 89 no. 4!

Delia Bentley’s paper on Subject canonicality and definiteness effects in Romance there-sentences reports on research carried out as part of her AHRC-funded project on existential constructions in Italo-Romance. It puts the definiteness hierarchy for subjects proposed by Beaver et al. (2005) to the test against data from a wide range of Romance languages, and argues for a constructional approach.

John Payne’s paper on Anaphoric one and its implications, co-authored with Geoff Pullum, Barbara Scholz and Eva Berlage, tackles the syntax and semantics of anaphoric one in English. Payne and colleagues show that Baker’s (1978) much-cited argument about innateness and one was based on faulty data, and propose a new semantic analysis that they claim defuses his “celebrated” poverty-of-the-stimulus reasoning.

In addition, two inaugural papers have appeared in the Historical Syntax online-only section of Language, of which LEL’s George Walkden is founder-editor.

Happy reading!