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Guglielmo Cinque

Guglielmo Cinque is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Venice, where he is Director of the PhD Program in Linguistics. He is the author of Types of Ā-Dependencies (MIT Press, 1990) and other books.

Titles by This Author

A Comparative Study

In The Syntax of Adjectives, Guglielmo Cinque offers cross-linguistic evidence that adjectives have two sources. Arguing against the standard view, and reconsidering his own earlier analysis, Cinque proposes that adjectives enter the nominal phase either as “adverbial” modifiers to the noun or as predicates of reduced relative clauses. Some of his evidence comes from a systematic comparison between Romance and Germanic languages. These two language families differ with respect to the canonical position taken by adjectives, which is prenominal in Germanic and both pre- and postnominal in Romance. Cinque shows that a simple N(oun)-raising analysis encounters a number of problems, the primary one of which is its inability to express a fundamental generalization governing the interpretation of pre- and postnominal adjectives in the two language families. Cinque argues that N-raising as such should be abandoned in favor of XP-raising--a conclusion also supported by evidence from other language families. After developing this framework for analyzing the syntax of adjectives, Cinque applies it to the syntax of English and Italian adjectives. An appendix offers a brief discussion of other languages that appear to distinguish overtly between the two sources of adjectives.

Types of A'-Dependencies develops the theories of Binding and Government of the "principles and parameters" approach to syntax pioneered by Noam Chomsky. Using data from Romance languages, Cinque argues for a particular way of delimiting the descriptive generalizations that concern the grammar of constituent extraction, and the principles from which they derive.

Cinque starts by distinguishing four major cases of A'-Dependencies on the basis of their different behavior with respect to island conditions. He discusses the distinction between "long" and "successive cyclic" wh-movement, indicating restrictions on the class of elements able to undergo "long" wh-movement and offering a simplification of the locality conditions on the two types of movement.

Cinque then introduces a Romance construction, Clitic Left Dislocation, to show the value of separating the two types of wh-movement and offers a theory that explains certain differences between NPs and non-NPs under extraction.