Is the Best Good Enough?: Optimality and Competition in Syntax

Is the Best Good Enough?: Optimality and Competition in Syntax

By: Martha McGinnis (editor), Danny Fox (editor), Paul Hagstrom (editor), Pilar Barbosa (editor), David Pesetsky (editor)Paperback

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Recent developments in linguistic theory have led to a reconsideration of the role of optimality in the overall architecture of the grammar. Emerging from this research is the idea that different components of the grammar interact to yield the best choice from a set of candidate derivations. This idea departs from traditional approaches to the output of linguistic levels in generative grammar, in which rules, principles, and constraints interact to determine the grammatical status of each linguistic object independent of the status of possible competitors.In the past five years, interest in the linguistic role of optimality has been sparked by the sharpened notions of "economy" in Chomsky's Minimalist Program and by Prince and Smolensky's Optimality Theory, originally developed for phonology. Work on these ideas has raised many new questions. These include new versions of an old debate between constraints on derivations and constraints on representations, and entirely new questions about the nature of the candidate set, as well as questions about learnability and computability. Writing from a broad range of empirical and theoretical perspectives, the contributors to this volume examine the role of competition in syntax and in syntactic interfaces with semantics, phonology, and pragmatics, as well as implications for language acquisition and processing.Contributors : Peter Ackema, Eric J. Bakovic, Joan Bresnan, Kevin Broihier, Luigi Burzio, Noam Chomsky, Danny Fox, Edward Gibson, Jane Grimshaw, Yookyung Kim, Geraldine Legendre, Masanori Nakamura, Ad Neeleman, Mark Newson, David Pesetsky, Stanley Peters, Geoffrey Poole, Douglas Pulleyblank, Vieri Samek-Lodovici, Paul Smolensky, Bruce Tesar, William J. Turkel, Colin Wilson.A copublication of The MIT Press and MIT Working Papers in Linguistics.

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About Author

David Pesetsky is Ferrari P. Ward Professor of Modern Languages and Linguistics and Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow at MIT. He is the author of Zero Syntax: Experiencers and Cascades and Phrasal Movement and Its Kin, both published by the MIT Press. Pesetsky is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was recently elected a Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America.


WHOT?, Peter Ackema and Ad Neeleman; optimality and inversion in Spanish, Eric Bakovic; morphology competes with syntax - explaining typological variation in weak crossover effects, Joan Bresman; anaphora and soft constraints, Luigi Burzio; some observation on economy in generative grammar, Noam Chomsky; locality in variable binding, Danny Fox; optimality theory and human sentence processing, Edward Gibson and Kevin Broihier; optimal subjects and subject universals, Jane Grimshaw and Vieri Samek-Lodovici; semantic and pragmatic context-dependence - the case of reciprocals, Yookyung Kim and Stanley Peters; when less is more? faithfulness and minimal links in wh-chains, Geraldine Legendre, Paul Smolensky and Colin Wilson; reference set, minimal link condition and parameterization, Masanori Nakamura; on the nature of inputs and outputs - a case study of negation, Mark Newson; some optimality principles of sentence pronunciation, David Pesetsky; constraints on local economy, Geoffrey Poole; the logical problem of language acquisition in optimality theory, Douglas Pulleyblank and William J. Turkel; error-driven learning in optimality theory via the efficient computation of optimal forms, Bruce B. Tesar.

Product Details

  • publication date: 12/06/1998
  • ISBN13: 9780262522496
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 440
  • ID: 9780262522496
  • weight: 953
  • ISBN10: 0262522497

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