It is a reference guide of diagnostics that linguists have used to study
human natural language in the generative syntax over the last five decades.
Noam Chomsky, who claims that human natural language is akin to natural
objects such as snowflakes, considers that the law of economy governs
language structure and mechanisms. The "litmus" test used as syntactic
diagnostics is an experiment for examining the principles and mechanisms of
the human brain's computational system, which is self-organized and
self-consistent. In this sense, this book is a reference guide of
natural-language experiments and their results. This handbook of
diagnostics contains the result of "properly designed serious experiments
that are theory-guided (Noam Chomsky)."
The diagnostics are presented in a simple, uniform manner. First, the
diagnostics is presented in the simplest "if X, then Y" statement, which is
easily duplicated by computers to make a heuristic program (Michio Kaku).
The formal features that are relevant to the diagnostics are then provided,
followed by the references. Next, the experiment is presented, beginning
with the tested samples, followed by the purpose of the test. The samples
are test, and the results are simply and clearly stated, followed by a
detailed explanation including the logic of the argument (e.g., reduction
to absurdity) and relevant structures and derivations if necessary. In the
Appendix, I summarized assessments and constructive criticisms of the
experiments, presented with further evidence from other examples,
alternative analyses, problems, and counterexamples for future research. I
separated these assessments and criticisms in the Appendix from the main
text, in which I highlighted the original insights and copyrights of the
proposed diagnostics. Good, solid logic is often hidden in the text, and
not readily visible in the form of simple diagnostics. I turn the good
logic into diagnostics: "If X, then Y."
The book contains about 300 diagnostics that are used in syntactic
analysis. I classify the diagnostics into groups based on their specific
purposes. When you are looking for the diagnostics for such and such, the
first place you go is the "road map for high-ways." There are two main
entrances for high-ways: structure (static) and derivation (dynamic). The
high-way-road map contains 18 high-ways that lead you instantaneously to
your high-way exit, or the new entrance (specific diagnostics) to your
quest. Then you go to the "road map for branch lines" that leads you to
your final destination (the answer to your question). The 18 high-ways are;
Structure: Does it exist? (existence), Is it ...? (identification), What is
it? (nature of position), What is the structure? (internal structure of
constituent), Where is it? (position), Does it exist there? (occupation),
Do they form a unit? (constituency), Is it a functional head? Where is it?
(functional head), How can I define it? (definition), Derivation: Is it a
feature? Where is it? Is it deleted? (features), Does it project?
(projection), Does it move? (move), What is the nature of movement? (nature
of landing site), Is this movement obligatory? (obligatory vs. optional
move), Is this derivation good? (legitimacy), When does it happen?
(timing), Does this feature move? (feature move), Is this copied? (evidence
for copy operation). For example, after you leave the "Do they form a unit"
high-way, you are provided with 22 branch lines (tests) to go, for "What is
the structure" high-way, 24 branch lines (tests), and for "Does it move"
high-way, 43 branch lines (tests).
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