LINGUIST List 10.111

Mon Jan 25 1999

Books: Syntax

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>

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  1. Jud Wolfskill, Three Investigations of Extraction, Paul M. Postal
  2. Jud Wolfskill, An Introduction to Minimalist Syntax, Juan Uriagereka

Message 1: Three Investigations of Extraction, Paul M. Postal

Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 16:42:02 -0400
From: Jud Wolfskill <wolfskilMIT.EDU>
Subject: Three Investigations of Extraction, Paul M. Postal

Three Investigations of Extraction

Paul M. Postal

In this technical monograph, Paul Postal deals with several issues that
have been treated only marginally in the development of current
linguistic theorizing. He focuses on three problems in syntactic theory
that are connected to "extraction"--the occurrence of an element in a
distinguished position distinct from its unmarked locus in simple
clauses. He examines a largely ignored body of systematic contrasts
among known extraction types, the status of the Coordinate Structure
Constraint, and the phenomenon of Right Node Raising.

Paul M. Postal is Research Professor in the Department of Linguistics
at New York University.

Current Studies in Linguistics 29

6 x 9, 232 pp., 13 illus. cloth ISBN 0-262-16179-6

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Message 2: An Introduction to Minimalist Syntax, Juan Uriagereka

Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 16:43:51 -0400
From: Jud Wolfskill <wolfskilMIT.EDU>
Subject: An Introduction to Minimalist Syntax, Juan Uriagereka

Rhyme and Reason
An Introduction to Minimalist Syntax
by Juan Uriagereka

foreword by Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini

This book takes the form of a dialogue between a linguist and another
scientist. The role of the linguist is to present the fundamentals of
the minimalist program of contemporary generative grammar. Although the
linguist serves essentially as a voice for Noam Chomsky's ideas, he is
not intended to be a portrait of Chomsky himself. The other scientist
functions as a kind of devil's advocate, making the arguments that
linguists tend to face from those in the "harder" sciences. In addition
to the device of the dialogue, the author employs a myriad of
graphics--everything from classical paintings to contemporary

The author does far more than simply present the minimalist program. He
conducts a running argument over the status of theoretical linguistics
as a natural science. He raises the general issues of how we conceive
words, phrases, and transformations, and what these processes tell us
about the human mind. He also attempts to reconcile generative grammar
with the punctuated equilibrium version of evolutionary theory. For
according to the linguist, the linguistic system in our species emerged
as a complex system, comparable to other complex phenomena in life that
elude strict adaptationist explanations.

Juan Uriagereka is Associate Professor in the Linguistics Department at
the University of Maryland at College Park.

9 x 10, 694 pp., 216 illus., cloth ISBN 0-262-21014-2

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