Anna Bondaruk: Copular clauses in English and Polish: Structure, derivation, and interpretation
Research into the nature and structure of copular constructions has provided a lot of interesting insight into the architecture of the grammar and the interaction between syntax, morphology, and semantics. For example, work by Andrea Moro (2000) on symmetry within the verb phrase or Marcel den Dikken’s (2006) proposals on phase extension have spurred new approaches to how basic syntactic computations are carried out. The book under review here, Copular clauses in English and Polish: Structure, derivation, and interpretation by Anna Bondaruk, is an interesting contribution to this already vibrant field of research. Her work has two aims: to provide a clear and state-of-the-art overview of existing proposals on a whole variety of copular constructions and to offer an analysis of three major classes of such constructions in Polish. In order to achieve these aims, she divides the book into two parts. Part 1 discusses copular clauses in English, whereas Part 2 critically analyzes existing proposals on copular constructions in Polish and puts forward a novel analysis for these structures. This simple linear division of labor has the advantage of providing the reader with an overview of research that is fuller than what the author needs for her analysis of Polish. The downside to this approach is that it also gives the impression that work on these two languages remains to some degree disjointed. Fortunately, the author makes an effort to integrate some of the work on non-Slavic copulas into the discussion of her proposals. The discussion concentrates on research carried out in the past twenty years within the generative framework of the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995). The author’s own proposals are also couched in this approach. The aim appears to be to accommodate Slavic data to the broad principles of MP.
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