Mutual dependency and Word Grammar: Headedness in the noun phrase

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Most Dependency Grammars reject mutual dependency but Word Grammar allows it, with Hudson (2004) exploiting it to analyse Determiner+Noun constructions. I discuss whether mutual dependency is desirable in Word Grammar and whether it is necessary in the treatment of Determiner+Noun structures. Many Dependency Grammar theories assume that the common noun is the head; earlyWord Grammar (Hudson, 1984) on the other hand argued for Determiner as head, and only more recently for mutual dependency. Mutual dependency is not permitted in most Dependency Grammars for formal reasons, because it violates the usual acyclicity constraint. However, natural language requires some relaxation of formal constraints on representations. I argue against mutual dependency in Word Grammar and also argue that it is not necessary in the analysis of Determiner+Noun; however, my arguments come from within Word Grammar and are based on its cognitive assumptions about how grammar is represented in the mind, rather than being based on formal criteria. My aim is to show that within a cognitive theory, constraints on representations can and should be stated in terms of the nature of the human cognitive system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceeedings of the Sixth International Conference on Dependency Linguistics
Place of PublicationStroudsburg, PA
PublisherACL Anthology
ISBN (Print) 9781955917148
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventSixth International Conference on Dependency Linguistics - Sofia, Bulgaria
Duration: 21 Mar 202225 Mar 2022
Conference number: 6


ConferenceSixth International Conference on Dependency Linguistics
Abbreviated titleDepling
Internet address


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