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Paul M. Postal

Paul M. Postal is the author of many books, including On Raising and Edge-Based Clausal Syntax (both published by the MIT Press). 

Titles by This Author

An Essay on the Syntax of Negation

In this book, Chris Collins and Paul Postal consider examples such the one below on the interpretation where Nancy thinks that this course is not interesting:
Nancy doesn’t think this course is interesting.

A Study of Pronominal Agreement

Normally, a speaker uses a first person singular pronoun (in English, I, me, mine, myself) to refer to himself or herself. To refer to a single addressee, a speaker uses second person pronouns (you, yours, yourself). But sometimes third person nonpronominal DPs are used to refer to the speaker--for example, this reporter, yours truly--or to the addressee--my lord, the baroness, Madam (Is Madam not feeling well?).

A Study of (Mostly) English Object Structure

In Edge-Based Clausal Syntax, Paul Postal rejects the notion that an English phrase of the form [V + DP] invariably involves a grammatical relation properly characterized as a direct object. He argues instead that at least three distinct relations occur in such a structure. The different syntactic properties of these three kinds of objects are shown by how they behave in passives, middles, -able forms, tough movement, wh-movement, Heavy NP Shift, Ride Node Raising, re-prefixation, and many other tests.

In this technical monograph, Paul Postal deals with several issues that inexplicably have been treated only marginally in the development of current linguistic theorizing. He focuses on three problems in syntactic theory that are connected to "extraction"—the occurrence of an element in a distinguished position distinct from its unmarked locus in simple clauses. He examines a largely ignored body of systematic contrasts among known extraction types, the status of the Coordinate Structure Constraint, and the phenomenon of Right Node Raising.

An Inquiry into One Rule of English Grammar and Its Theoretical Implications

For some time it has been generally accepted by students of English grammar that a rule of Raising exists and that it functions to produce derived main clause subjects. Following Rosenbaum's work, it has also been widely accepted that this rule functions in a specified class of cases to derive main clause objects. However, in recent work, Chomsky has rejected the view that there is any Raising rule that produces derived main clause objects. According to his latest position, only the derived subject function of the rule is an actual feature of English grammar.

Titles by This Editor

This book offers a comprehensive survey of research on parasitic gaps, an intriguing syntactic phenomenon. The first section of the book contains a history of work on the topic and three fundamental previously published papers. The remaining three sections present new perspectives on the theory of parasitic gaps based on data taken from diverse languages.