- Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics
- The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Minimalism
- The Contributors
- List of Abbreviations and Symbols
- Some Roots of Minimalism in Generative Grammar
- Features in Minimalist Syntax
- Merge and Bare Phrase Structure
- Structure and Order: Asymmetric Merge
- The Copy Theory
- A-Bar Dependencies
- Head Movement and the Minimalist Program
- Derivational Cycles
- Anti-Locality: Too-Close Relations in Grammar
- No Derivation Without Representation
- Last Resort with Move and Agree in Derivations and Representations
- Syntax and Interpretation Systems: How is Their Labour Divided?
- Minimalist Construal: Two Approaches to A and B
- A Minimalist Approach to Argument Structure
- Minimalist Semantics
- Minimal Semantic Instructions
- Language and Thought
- Minimalism and Language Acquisition
- A Minimalist Program for Phonology
- Minimizing Language Evolution: The Minimalist Program and The Evolutionary Shaping of Language
- Computational Perspectives on Minimalism
Abstract and Keywords
The minimalist program includes the important conjecture that all (or most) properties of syntactic computation in natural language should be understood as arising from either (1) the interactions of independent mental systems; or (2) ‘general properties of organic systems’. The study of case morphology and the distribution of nominal expressions in the languages of the world is one of the areas in which generative syntax has made the most-profound advances over previous approaches. A large (and increasing) number of studies have identified patterns and principles of great generality – achievements that also shed light on other topics and puzzles. At the same time, it is fair to say that the phenomenon of case represents one of the more outstanding challenges for the minimalist conjecture. Though case is indeed an area in which complex phenomena can be predicted on the basis of more general principles, these principles themselves look quite specific to syntax and morphology, with little apparent connection to external cognitive systems. The discussion in this article reflects the provisional character of the investigation.
David Pesetsky is Ferrari P. Ward Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has worked on a number of topics in syntactic theory, including the relation between argument structure and syntax, as well as the cross-linguistic typology of wh-constructions. In an ongoing collaboration with Esther Torrego, he has helped develop a new proposal concerning the nature of case, and has recently also investigated case morphology in Russian. He is the author of two books, Zero Syntax (MIT Press, 1995) and Phrasal Movement and its Kin (MIT Press, 2000), and is currently engaged in a collaborative investigation (with Jonah Katz) of the syntax of tonal music.
Esther Torrego is a Professor in the Hispanic Studies Department and Director of the Undergraduate Linguistics Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She has worked on a variety of topics in theoretical syntax and the syntax-semantics interface in the Romance languages, especially in Spanish, both solo and in collaboration. Her collaborative work with David Pesetsky concentrates on the nature of case theory. Her current work and theoretical interests has expanded to include syntactic analyses of ergative languages.
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