The (w)hole of the doughnut

Syntax and its boundaries

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From the author’s preface: "I once facetiously stated: 'Syntax is to semantics as the hole of the doughnut is to the whole of the doughnut.' Semantics without syntax, thus, is like a doughnut without a hole. This was in the heyday of generative semantics, and having heard that my major interest was syntax, someone was able, perhaps also facetiously, to respond: 'Does it exist?' Most of the papers collected here originated in those days and previously appeared in various linguistic journals and anthologies. The reader may note that the topics dealt with in these papers all have their roots in syntax, but in most cases relate to its boundary areas. The boundary areas are not restricted to semantics, but the above analogy of the doughnut might still apply to what syntax is to those boundary areas. Hence the title of the book."

Subjects: Generative linguistics; Semantics; Theoretical linguistics; Syntax

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