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Evolutionary Syntax

By Ljiljana Progovac

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The Making of Vernacular Singapore English

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This book "proposes a new theory of contact-induced grammatical restructuring" and "offers a new analytical approach to New English from a formal or structural perspective."

Book Information


Title: Locality in Minimalist Syntax
Written By: Thomas S. Stroik
Series Title: Linguistic Inquiry

In this highly original reanalysis of minimalist syntax, Thomas Stroik
considers the optimal design properties for human language. Taking as his
starting point Chomsky's minimalist assumption that the syntactic component
of a language generates representations for sentences that are interpreted
at perceptual and conceptual interfaces, Stroik investigates how these
representations can be generated most parsimoniously. Countering the
prevailing analyses of minimalist syntax, he argues that the computational
properties of human language consist only of strictly local Merge
operations that lack both look-back and look-forward properties. All
grammatical operations reduce to a single sort of locally defined
feature-checking operation, and all grammatical properties are the
cumulative effects of local grammatical operations.

As Stroik demonstrates, reducing syntactic operations to local operations
with a single property—merging lexical material into syntactic
derivations—not only radically increases the computational efficiency of
the syntactic component, but it also optimally simplifies the design of the
computational system. Locality in Minimalist Syntax explains a range of
syntactic phenomena that have long resisted previous generative theories,
including that-trace effects, superiority effects, and the interpretations
available for multiple-wh constructions. It also introduces the Survive
Principle, an important new concept for syntactic analysis, and provides
something considered impossible in minimalist syntax: a locality account of
displacement phenomena.

Linguistic Inquiry Monograph 51

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: MIT Press
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Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0262012928
ISBN-13: 9780262012928
Pages: 168
Prices: U.S. $ 64.00

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0262512769
ISBN-13: 9780262512763
Pages: 168
Prices: U.S. $ 32.00