- 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
This article examines the nature of derivations. Derivation plays a critical role in minimalist inquiry. But what is the nature of syntactic derivation, and specifically of operations? Just how is the form and application of derivational operations determined? And what criteria can be used in formulating the ‘right’ type of derivation? For the minimalist program, the strong minimalist thesis (SMT) plays a central role in formulating and evaluating derivation. Under SMT, we expect the recursive part of language faculty to be a system that not only satisfies minimal requirements imposed by the interface systems, but does so in accord with principles of efficient computation. Computational efficiency assumes computation, and the computation equipped with Merge goes some great distance in meeting this expectation, both identifying and satisfying the hypothesized third-factor principles (such as binary merger, no-tampering, inclusiveness, minimal search, and phase-based cyclicity).
Samuel David Epstein is Professor of Linguistics and Associate Chair of the Department of Linguistics, University of Michigan. He is the author of the collection Essays in Syntactic Theory (Routledge, 2000) and Traces and their Antecedents (OUP, 1991), and is co-author of A Derivational Approach to Syntactic Relations (OUP, 1998) and Derivations in Minimalism (CUP, 2006). He co-edited Working Minimalism (MIT Press, 1999) and Derivation and Explanation in the Minimalist Program (Blackwell, 2002). In 1998 he co-founded Syntax: A Journal of Theoretical, Experimental and Interdisciplinary Research (Blackwell). His continuing research concerns the formulation of fundamental operations of, and the nature of derivations within, minimized conceptions of the architecture of Universal Grammar.
Hisatsugu Kitahara is Professor at the Institute of Cultural and Linguistic Studies at Keio University. His research area is minimalist syntax, specifically a derivational approach to phrase structure. He is also interested in foundational issues concerning the field of generative grammar. He is the author of Elementary Operations and Optimal Derivations (MIT Press, 1997).
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 co-editor of Derivation and Explanation in the Minimalist Program (Blackwell, 2002) and co-author of Derivations in Minimalism (CUP, 2006).
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