By Norbert Hornstein
Human language turns out to have arisen approximately in the final 50-100,000 years. In evolutionary phrases, this is often the mere blink of an eye fixed. If this is often right, then a lot of what we give some thought to targeted to language needs to in reality contain operations to be had in pre-linguistic cognitive domain names. during this ebook Norbert Hornstein, essentially the most influential linguists engaged on syntax, discusses a topical set of concerns in syntactic concept, together with a few unique proposals on the innovative of analysis during this sector. He presents a concept of the elemental grammatical operations and means that there's just one that's special to language. If this idea is true then this narrows the evolutionary hole among verbal and non-verbal primates, therefore facilitating the fast evolutionary emergence of our linguistic capability.
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Additional info for A Theory of Syntax: Minimal Operations and Universal Grammar
Minimality is not itself the basic notion. Shortest dependency is (see note 44). Minimality conditioned by c-command is what shortness entails in a grammar restricted to Boolean measures. This, however, only becomes evident once we try to understand how grammars compute distance. 5 More on paths We have outlined how paths can be used to measure distance. It is time to make this discussion a bit more precise, elaborate some further consequences, and consider some alternative ways of building them.
That it only applies because it must. This means that when Merge takes place, some requirement of one of the participants is discharged via the merger. 32 If we assume 31 32 That Merge is asymmetric is perfectly reasonable for reasons noted below about Merge and Last Resort. Hornstein (2001) assumes that this is how thematic assignment occurs: a theta-feature of the predicate is transferred to the DP that it has merged to. Other options are possible. Thus Bowers (2005) assumes that it is a sub-categorization of V feature that is checked.
To start, let’s consider why minimality holds at all. Why should dependencies be subject to this sort of restriction? The intuition behind Rizzi’s original proposal is that grammars prefer shorter dependencies to longer ones. 44 The next question then is: how do grammars evaluate distance? How 42 This same approach might be extendable to the failure of raising over experiencers in Romance noted in Chomsky (1995a). Here the experiencer is marked with a´ which can function as either a case marker or a preposition.
A Theory of Syntax: Minimal Operations and Universal Grammar by Norbert Hornstein