Derivations in Minimalism

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 20, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 217 pages
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This pathbreaking study presents a new perspective on the role of derivation, the series of operations by which sentences are formed. Working within the Minimalist Program and focusing on English, the authors develop an original theory of generative syntax, providing illuminating new analyses of some central syntactic constructions. Two key questions are explored: first, can the Extended Projection Principle (EPP) be eliminated from Minimalist analysis without loss, and perhaps with a gain in empirical coverage; and second, is the construct 'A-Chain' similarly eliminable? The authors argue that neither EPP nor the A-chain is in fact a property of Universal Grammar, but rather their descriptive content can be deduced from independently motivated properties of lexical items, in accordance with overarching principles governing derivation. In investigating these questions, a range of new data is introduced, and existing data re-analyzed, presenting a pioneering challenge to fundamental assumptions in syntactic theory.

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Orientation and goals
12 Outline and rationale
On the elimination of Achains
22 Achains are not specifiable under X invisibility
23 A nonisomorphism between Achains and successive cyclic Amovement
24 An alternative analysis without chains
On the elimination of the EPP
32 The EPP
More challenges to the elimination of the EPP some movement cases
42 Evidence for successive cyclic Amovement as evidence for the EPP
43 The Bošković approach
44 Some alternative solutions
45 Lasniks cases
Exploring architecture
52 Some final notes on the derivational model eliminating feature strength and obligatory transformational rule application

more problems created by the EPP
34 The conjecture class of verbs

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About the author (2006)

SAMUEL DAVID EPSTEIN is a Professor in the Linguistics Department at the University of Michigan. He is co-author of A Derivational Approach to Syntactic Relations (with E. Groat, R. Kawashima and H. Kitahara, 1998), and co-editor (with N. Hornstein) of Working Minimalism (1999). He is co-founder ( with S. Flynn) of the journal Syntax.

T. DANIEL SEELY is Professor of Linguistics and Chair of the Linguistics Program at Eastern Michigan University. His work in syntax has appeared in Linguistic Inquiry and Syntax. He is organizer and editor of Geometric and Thematic Structure in Binding (1996), The First LINGUIST List online conference and he is co-editor (with S. D. Epstein) of Derirotion and Explandtion in the Minimalist Program (2002).

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