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A Grammar of Projections Steven Abney

Summary: A Grammar of Projections
Steven Abney
University of Tšubingen
A sequence of nodes in a syntax tree, each the head of the next, is usually
called a projection path, or simply a projection. Projections in this sense are
fairly basic phrase-structural entities, though hardly of central importance in
most accounts. There are a few exceptions. For example, varieties of projection
that I called c-projection and s-projection were significant in my earlier work on
the grammar of function words, and the distinction was further developed by
Grimshaw under the rubric extended projections. And in quite a different direc-
tion, Kayne proposed g-projections to account for constraints on long-distance
dependencies. Pesetsky, inspired by Kayne's g-projections, proposed using paths
as the basis for an account of locality; and his paths, in turn, are reminiscent
of the feature-passing paths that figure prominently in intuitive accounts of
attribute-value grammars.
If there is more to this train of precedent than just free association and
coincidences of terminology, it suggests that an account of both constituent
structure and long-distance dependencies might be based on a single notion of
projection. I would like to propose such an approach in the present work.
As a point of departure, let me make another set of free associations, not ob-


Source: Abney, Steven P. - School of Information, University of Michigan


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences