2015 Linguistic Summer Institute
Time and location: July 20-31, TF 10:30AM-12:20PM, Pick 319
A precise formal understanding of a linguistic theory is vital for distinguishing between contentful and notational aspects of a linguistic proposal, for pinpointing cross-framework agreements and disagreements, and for making principled connections to other empirical domains.
This course will present recent transformational syntax (`minimalism') in terms Stabler's minimalist grammar (MG) formalism. To get a feel for the formalism, we will engage in a hands-on analysis of basic aspects of constructions like raising, auxiliaries, expletives, and passives.
The key to understanding MGs lies in their derivational process. We will see how to understand derivations as structure, and how this provides a simple and unifying perspective on a host of recent theory-internal questions, including the elimination of levels of representation, the reduction of move to merge, inclusiveness and the non-tampering condition, label-free syntax, etc. The derivational perspective on MGs also permits a directly compositional reinterpretation of the standard LF-interpretation scheme, which we will explore in the context of binding out of nominal phrases. Finally, we will investigate the natural derivational interpretation of catena (`chains'), a dependency-theoretic notion which provides a way to understand and treat constructions in transformational grammar.
|Tuesday July 21
||Background, Merge and Head Movement
|Friday July 24
|Tuesday July 28
|Friday July 31
||LF-interpretation, Dependency aspects of MGs
- A recent overview of the formalism, linguistic, and philosophical issues by Ed Stabler
- Another paper by Ed Stabler briefly summarizes and compares three perspectives on head movement; see also this paper by Jens Michaelis, and (for the daring) this one by me
- A psycholinguistically motivated discussion of parsing minimalist grammars has also been written by Ed Stabler, and John Hale's dissertation gives a sophisticated case study in using psycholinguistic data to decide between grammatical analyses.
- my dissertation walks through (in chapter two) many of the themes we covered here.
- the story on semantics given there is unnecessarily baroque, a better one is here
- a discussion of ellipsis which builds on what we did in class is here
- The SMC is crucial to the good behaviour of MGs. Jens Michaelis and Hans-Martin Gärtner have investigated multiple wh-movement from this perspective here and here
- Jens and Hans-Martin have also investigated the complexity of various kinds of movement constraints
- Thomas Graf's dissertation (and subsequent work) has demonstrated the utility of focussing on derivations; in particular, transderivational economy constraints do not increase the power of MGs! It provides as well a very friendly introduction to MGs.
- Tim Hunter has a number of publications investigating adjunction and right node raising in a slightly modified framework. (Thomas Graf and Meaghan Fowlie have overviews of adjunction analyses.) He also has written on sophisticated models of weighting MGs.
back to square one
Last modified: Fri Jun 27 11:17:12 EDT 2014