Bare Syntax

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OUP Oxford, May 8, 2008 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 312 pages
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This important contribution to the Minimalist Program offers a comprehensive theory of locality and new insights into phrase structure and syntactic cartography. It unifies central components of the grammar and increases the symmetry in syntax. Its central hypothesis has broad empirical application and at the same time reinforces the central premise of minimalism that language is an optimal system. Cedric Boeckx focuses on two core components of grammar: phrase structure and locality. He argues that the domains which render syntactic processes local (such as islands, bounding nodes, barriers, and phases in all their cartographic manifestations) are better understood once reduced to, or combined with, the basic syntactic operation, Merge, and its core representation, the X-bar schema. In a detailed examination of the mechanism of phrasal projection or labelling he shows that viewing chains as X-bar phrases allows conditions on chain formation or movement to be captured. Clearly argued, accessibly written, and illustrated with examples from a wide range of languages, Bare Syntax will appeal to linguists and others interested in syntactic theory at graduate level and above.

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Preliminary considerations
Outline of a General Theory of Locality
Unambiguous Merge
Cartographies and the locality of selection
Islands and the locality of chains

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About the author (2008)

Cedric Boeckx is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Harvard University. His books include Linguistic Minimalism (OUP 2006) and Understanding Minimalist Syntax (Blackwell 2007).