The Minimalist Program has advanced a research program that builds the
design of human language from conceptual necessity. Seminal proposals by
Frampton & Gutmann (1999, 2000, 2002) introduced the notion that an
ideal syntactic theory should be ‘crash-proof’. Such a version of the
Minimalist Program (or any other linguistic theory) would not permit
syntactic operations to produce structures that ‘crash’. There have,
however, been some recent developments in Minimalism – especially those
that approach linguistic theory from a biolinguistic perspective (cf.
Chomsky 2005 et seq.) – that have called the pursuit of a ‘crash-proof
grammar’ into serious question.
The papers in this volume take on the daunting challenge of defining
exactly what a ‘crash’ is and what a ‘crash-proof grammar’ would look like,
and of investigating whether or not the pursuit of a ‘crash-proof grammar’
is biolinguistically appealing.