UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 10 (1998)
Degree expressions and the autonomy of syntax
JENNY DOETJES, AD NEELEMAN & HANS VAN DE KOOT
This paper argues for the autonomy of syntax. So-called degree expression come in two sorts: some are heads selecting an AP, others are adjoined to any suitable host. These two classes yield to a unitary semantics, which explains their largely complementary distribution. Hence, they can only be distinguished in syntactic terms, in particular c-selection. A further argument for an autonomous syntax comes from cases in which degree expressions are not in complementary distribution. It is demonstrated that the syntactic relation of specifier-head agreement explains such cases, and that this explanation cannot be reduced to a semantic fact.