LINGUIST List 26.2849

Tue Jun 09 2015

FYI: Book on Grammatical Theory Ready for Open Review

Editor for this issue: Ashley Parker <>

Date: 09-Jun-2015
From: Stefan Müller <>
Subject: Book on Grammatical Theory Ready for Open Review
E-mail this message to a friend

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the publication of the open review version of my new book (787 pages) Gram­ma­ti­cal theo­ry: From trans­for­ma­tio­nal gram­mar to cons­traint-​ba­sed ap­proa­ches in the series Textbooks in Language Sciences
by Language Science Press, Berlin.

The book can be downloaded and commented/reviewed at (more on the content of the book below).

Language Science Press is a new scholar-owned publisher that publishes high quality peer reviewed books.

In addition to traditional peer reviewing, we allow for a post-acceptance open review phase. For a description of the quality assurance see this blog post:

On open reviewing in general see this one:

My grammatical theory book is the first one to enter the open review process. If you want to contribute, please let me know. We will wait for two weeks for expressions of interest. If there is interest in open reviewing there will be
an open review phase of two months.

Open reviews will get a DOI and will be published together with the open review version that will still be available on the web. Such reviews may contain remarks that will result in an improvement of the final book or they may be of a more general type in the format of a book review as it might appear in a traditional journal.

Since the book deals with various different grammatical theories, reviews of single chapters are possible as well.

Now for the content of the book:

This book introduces formal grammar theories that play a role in current linguistics or contributed tools that are relevant for current linguistic theorizing (Phrase Structure Grammar, Transformational Grammar/Government &
Binding, Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar, Lexical Functional Grammar, Categorial Grammar, Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Construction Grammar, Tree Adjoining Grammar, Dependency Grammar). The key assumptions are explained and it is shown how each theory treats arguments and adjuncts, the active/passive alternation, local reorderings, verb placement, and fronting of constituents over long distances. The analyses are explained with German as the object language.

In a final part of the book the approaches are compared with respect to their predictions regarding language acquisition and psycholinguistic plausibility. The nativism hypothesis that claims that humans posses genetically determined innate language-specific knowledge is examined critically and alternative models of language acquisition are discussed. In addition this more general part addresses issues that are discussed controversially in current theory building such as the question whether flat or binary branching structures are more appropriate, the question
whether constructions should be treated on the phrasal or the lexical level, and the question whether abstract, non-visible entities should play a role in syntactic analyses. It is shown that the analyses that are suggested in the
various frameworks are often translatable into each other. The book closes with a section that shows how properties that are common to all languages or to certain language classes can be captured.

Best wishes
Stefan Müller

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Language Acquisition
Linguistic Theories

Subject Language(s): German (deu)

Page Updated: 09-Jun-2015