Download A Theory of Syntax: Minimal Operations and Universal Grammar by Norbert Hornstein PDF

By Norbert Hornstein

ISBN-10: 0521449707

ISBN-13: 9780521449700

Human language turns out to have arisen approximately in the final 50-100,000 years. In evolutionary phrases, this can be the mere blink of a watch. If this is often right, then a lot of what we examine designated to language needs to in truth contain operations on hand in pre-linguistic cognitive domain names. during this e-book Norbert Hornstein, some of the most influential linguists engaged on syntax, discusses a topical set of concerns in syntactic conception, together with a few unique proposals on the leading edge of analysis during this sector. He presents a thought of the fundamental grammatical operations and means that there's just one that's unique to language. If this idea is true then this narrows the evolutionary hole among verbal and non-verbal primates, therefore facilitating the fast evolutionary emergence of our linguistic means.

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The relevant structures are indicated in (31a,b). (31) a. [T0 [seems [PP to [Mary]] [Bill to be tall]]] b. 43 (31) c. ∗ John persuaded Mary PRO (= John) to wash himself d. John vowed to Mary PRO (= John) to wash himself In (31c) Mary intervenes blocking the movement of John to Spec T. Mary does not block this movement in (31d) for Mary resides within a PP and so fails to c-command John at the point where movement to Spec T applies. Enough illustration. Let’s assume that the descriptive generalization in (26) is correct and see if we can account for why minimality only holds between expressions in c-command configurations.

A natural reply is: grammars measure distance by the nodes intervening between the related expressions. 45 So, for example, in (32a) the path of the what targeting C0 is the set of nodes {VP, vP, TP, CP}, as these are the maximal projections that dominate the launch site of what (in VP) and its landing site (in CP). 46 The preference for short dependencies can be recast as the maxim that path length should be minimized. So, for example, if some expression moves to check a feature of the target, say a Wh feature on C0 in (32a), then the grammar wants to accomplish this with the shortest possible move.

At least in cases like (6). 18 19 It is often assumed that SWM must be added as a grammatical option and so grammars that allow it are more complex than those that do not. This, however, is incorrect. As Hornstein (2001) and Nunes (1995, 2004) observe, SWM is permissible unless specifically precluded. This exclusion can arise in a number of ways. We might stipulate that all grammatical operations must occur within single rooted sub-trees. Or we might only allow movement to occur subsequent to AGREE and the latter is restricted to elements c-commanded by the Probe (see Chapter 6 for discussion).

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A Theory of Syntax: Minimal Operations and Universal Grammar by Norbert Hornstein


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