This book combines ideas about the architecture of grammar and language acquisition, processing, and change to explain why languages show regular patterns when there is so much irregularity in their use and so much complexity when there is such regularity in linguistic phenomena. Peter Culicover argues that the structure of language can be understood and explained in terms of two kinds of complexity: firstly that of the correspondence between form and meaning; secondly in the real-time processes involved in the construction of meanings in linguistic expressions.
Mainstream syntactic theory has focused largely on regularities within and across languages, relegating to the periphery exceptional and idiosyncratic phenomena. But, the author argues, a language's irregular and unique features offer fundamental insights into the nature of language, how it changes, and how it is produced and understood.
Peter Culicover's new book offers a pertinent and original contribution to key current debates in linguistic theory. It will interest scholars and advanced students of linguists of all theoretical persuasions.