Specifiers: Minimalist Approaches

Paperback | January 1, 1999

EditorDavid Adger, Susan Pintzuk, Bernadette Plunkett

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By the late 1980s, Government and Binding Theory - which was central to almost all research in generative grammar - threatened to become as large and as intricate as the language it described. To counter this, Noam Chomsky introduced a minimalist program with the aim of making explanations oflanguage as simple and general as possible. It has since gained widespread (if not quite universal) acceptance, to the extent that the most recent first-year textbook in syntax (Radford, CUP, 1997) is based on it. One of the areas subjected to this minimalist scrutiny has been phrase structure, the fundamental basis of grammar. This book focuses on the most controversial area of phrase structure, the notion of specifier - a notion encompassing the traditional categories of subjects, possessors, determiners,auxiliaries, and adjuncts. It examines what place the notion has in the new theory and how the projection of specifiers is to be eliminated or extended. The contributors (prominent American, British, and European scholars) draw on empirical, theoretical research in cross-linguistic phenomena and first and second language acquisition. The substantial introductory chapter provides an up-to-date account of minimalist syntactic theory and a criticalevaluation of the notion of specifier within it.

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By the late 1980s, Government and Binding Theory - which was central to almost all research in generative grammar - threatened to become as large and as intricate as the language it described. To counter this, Noam Chomsky introduced a minimalist program with the aim of making explanations oflanguage as simple and general as possible. ...

David Adger is at University of York. Susan Pintzuk is at University of York.

other books by David Adger

Format:PaperbackPublished:January 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198238142

ISBN - 13:9780198238140

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Table of Contents

IntroductionSpecifiers in Generative GrammarSpecifiers as Secondary HeadsWithout SpecifiersFilling and Licensing Multiple SpecifiersEPP without Spec, IPSpec-Head Agreement and Case in ArabiceThe Specifier-Adjunct DistinctionThe wh effect and Multiple Wh-frontingNominal and Verbal ProjectionsDependencies and ExtractionsMovement to SpecifiersWh and the Locality of Feature CheckingSpecifiers and FinitenessSpec-Head Relationships in Child SwedishSome Specs on Specs in L2 Acquistion