This book addresses the fundamental issues in the phase-based approach to
the mental computation of language that have arisen from the recent
developments in the Minimalist Program. Leading linguists and promising
young scholars from all over the world focus on two topics that are in the
center of current theorizing in syntax - the interaction of syntax with the
conceptual-intentional and sensorimotor interfaces, and current
formulations of phase theory.
Phases are a recent way of theorizing and modeling the computational system
of human language in relation to the interfaces between syntactic
derivation and logical form and phonological form. What exactly, for
example, does Spell-Out do? Where do morphology and phonology kick in? Are
these two levels of representation sufficient, too many, or not enough? How
can the interaction between syntax and prosody be formally represented? The
authors discuss these and other central questions including the degree to
which phases are the right way to think about the dynamic system of
language. They consider how far the answers are likely to come from
conceptual and theoretical considerations or from experimental and
empirical research, which key components might be missing, and how the
system can be improved.
Both in its parts and as a whole, the book explains and contributes to some
of the liveliest and most central debates in contemporary linguistics.