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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington

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New from Oxford University Press!


What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

New from Cambridge University Press!


Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.

Book Information


Title: Interfaces + Recursion = Language?
Subtitle: Chomsky's Minimalism and the View from Syntax-Semantics
Edited By: Uli Sauerland
Hans-Martin Gärtner
URL: http://www.degruyter.com/rs/bookSingle.cfm?id=IS-9783110188721-1&l=E
Series Title: Studies in Generative Grammar [SGG] 89

Human language is a phenomenon of immense richness: It provides finely
nuanced means of expression that underlie the formation of culture and
society; it is subject to subtle, unexpected constraints like syntactic
islands and cross-over phenomena; different mutually-unintelligeable
individual languages are numerous; and the descriptions of individual
languages occupy thousands of pages. Recent work in linguistics, however,
has tried to argue that despite all appearances to the contrary, the human
biological capacity for language may be reducible to a small inventory of
core cognitive competencies. The most radical version of this view has
emerged from the Minimalist Program: The claim that language consists of
only the ability to generate recursive structures by a computational
mechanism. On this view, all other properties of language must result from
the interaction at the interfaces of that mechanism and other mental
systems not exclusively devoted to language. Since language could then be
described as the simplest recursive system satisfying the requirements of
the interfaces, one can speak of the Minimalist Equation: Interfaces +
Recursion = Language.

The question whether all the richness of language can be reduced to that
minimalist equation has already inspired several fruitful lines of research
that led to important new results. While a full assessment of the
minimalist equation will require evidence from many different areas of
inquiry, this volume focuses especially on the perspective of syntax and
semantics. Within the minimalist architecture, this places our concern with
the core computational mechanism and the (LF-) interface where recursive
structures are fed to interpretation. Specific questions that the papers
address are: What kind of recursive structures can the core generator form?
How can we determine what the simplest recursive system is? How can
properties of language that used to be ascribed to the recursive generator
be reduced to interface properties? What effects do syntactic operations
have on semantic interpretation? To what extent do models of semantic
interpretation support the LF-interface conditions postulated by minimalist

Of interest to: Research Libraries, Researchers and Advanced Students of
Linguistics, especially Generative Linguistics, Syntax

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Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
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Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110188724
ISBN-13: 9783110188721
Pages: 289
Prices: Europe EURO 78.00
U.S. $ 105.30