To See a World in a Grain of Sand: Review of Legate (2014)
journal contributionposted on 03.05.2020, 23:43 by Yen-Hsin Chen
Voice and v is an investigation of the syntax of an understudied Western Austronesian language, Acehnese, with a particular interest in its implications for the theory of verb phrase structure under the framework of the Minimalist Program. Since Pylkkänen's seminal article, the idea that the functional projection of verb phrases involves two distinct layers—a higher one (that is, Voice) that is responsible for introducing the external thematic role and Case-licensing the internal argument, and a lower one (that is, v) that is responsible for introducing causative semantics and verbalizing the root—has been advanced in a series of works under the Minimalist Program. This book presents novel evidence for this hypothesis based on an in-depth analysis of Acehnese passive, object voice, and causative constructions. Building on the empirical observations from Acehnese, the book makes further explorations of the syntactic typology of passives and causatives, on which the Acehnese data shed light. It contributes not only to the description and analysis of an understudied language, but also to the cross-linguistic understanding of the different flavors of Voice and the architecture of verb phrase structures.