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"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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Title: Competition in Syntax
Edited By: Gereon Müller
Wolfgang Sternefeld
URL: http://www.degruyter.com
Series Title: Studies in Generative Grammar 49
Description:

In the last decade, the notion of competition has come to play a major role in syntactic theory, particularly in minimalist and optimality-theoretic syntax. On this view, a sentence can only be grammatical if it is "optimal'' in a set of competing candidates with respect to a given evaluation metric - economy in the minimalist program, quality of constraint profile in optimality theory. Preceded by a general introduction that outlines both common features and main differences among competition-based models, the ten articles in this book critically investigate the viability of competition in syntax from different points of view, concentrating on optimality theory and the associated concepts of constraint ranking and constraint violability.

On the empirical side, the contributions focus on phenomena from a variety of languages where an account in terms of competition has some initial plausibility, among them word order, quantifier scope, chain realization, argument linking, Ersatzinfinitiv, Case assignment, and gapping. On the conceptual side, new light is shed on important issues concerning basic notions that are notoriously unclear (like the nature of the evaluation metric, the form of candidates and of candidate sets, the role of the input, and parallel vs. serial optimization). Furthermore, certain issues are addressed that are inherently problematic for optimality-theoretic syntax (like optionality, absolute ungrammaticality, gradient acceptability, and cumulativity of constraint violation).

Publication Year: 2000
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): Syntax
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110169452
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 410pp
Prices: DM 158,- / EUR 80,78 / vS 1153