In this book, leading scholars consider the ways in which syntactic variation can be accounted for in a minimalist framework. They explore the theoretical significance, content, and role of parameters; whether or not variation should be strongly or weakly accounted for by syntactic factors; and the explicitness - or lack thereof - should be assumed with respect to the conditions imposed by narrow syntax. The book is divided into two parts. The first part contains chapters that consider the term 'parameter' to be a relevant theoretical notion under minimalist tenets. In the second part, on the other hand, chapters either argue that the term parameter amounts to no more than a label to describe variation, or assign it a less prominent role. Instead, language variation is attributed to sociolinguistic factors, language contact, frequency of use, or simply to options in the externalization of abstract syntactic relations. The book offers a valuable overview of the different approaches adopted in the study of language variation phenomena, and will appeal to theoretical linguists of all persuasions from graduate level upwards.
M. Carme Picallo is Professor at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and member of the Centre de Linguistica Teorica. Her research interests focus on syntactic theory and syntactic variation. Her publications include papers in Linguistic Inquiry, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Journal of Linguistics, and Probus. She is the co-editor, along with Montserrat Batllori, Maria-Lluisa Hernanz, and Francesc Roca, of Grammaticalization and Parametric Variation (OUP 2005) and has contributed chapters to several international peer-reviewed collective volumes.
PART I: THE PARAMETRIC APPROACH: THE PP REVISITED VIEW; PART II VARIATION WITHOUT PARAMETERS