The analysis and theory developed in Zero Syntax is an important contribution to the understanding of Universal Grammar. The overriding theme is the notion that the availability and syntactic positioning of arguments is not a matter of chance but arises from laws governing the structure of lexical entries and from laws governing syntactic structures themselves. Along the way, Zero Syntax also examines issues of broad significance to current theoretical linguistic research in syntax and lexical semantics.
Zero Syntax develops two main topics: a simple view of syntactic linking regularities that it defends in the domain of Experiencer predicates (predicates such as "annoy"), and a theory of syntactic constituency that involves two parallel modes of structural organization (one of which is the Cascade syntax). The theme that ties these issues together is the supposition that phonologically null ("zero") morphology is present in structure, detectable through its syntactic and morphological consequences.
The arguments in Zero Syntax will be relevant to debates about such issues as empty elements in syntax and morphology, whether syntactic structures should be binary branching, the structure of double-object constructions, and whether verbs have multiple meanings related by lexical rules or abstract/general meanings that are ambiguated in particular constructions.
Current Studies in Linguistics No. 27
About the Author
David Pesetsky is Ferrari P. Ward Professor of Modern Languages and Linguistics and Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow at MIT. He is the author of Zero Syntax: Experiencers and Cascades and Phrasal Movement and Its Kin, both published by the MIT Press. Pesetsky is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was recently elected a Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America.