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Current Studies in Linguistics

In this technical monograph, Paul Postal deals with several issues that inexplicably have been treated only marginally in the development of current linguistic theorizing. He focuses on three problems in syntactic theory that are connected to "extraction"—the occurrence of an element in a distinguished position distinct from its unmarked locus in simple clauses. He examines a largely ignored body of systematic contrasts among known extraction types, the status of the Coordinate Structure Constraint, and the phenomenon of Right Node Raising.

Experiencers and Cascades


The analysis and theory developed in Zero Syntax is an important contribution to the understanding of Universal Grammar. The overriding theme is the notion that the availability and syntactic positioning of arguments is not a matter of chance but arises from laws governing the structure of lexical entries and from laws governing syntactic structures themselves. Along the way, Zero Syntax also examines issues of broad significance to current theoretical linguistic research in syntax and lexical semantics.

The Minimalist Program consists of four recent essays that attempt to situate linguistic theory in the broader cognitive sciences. In these essays the minimalist approach to linguistic theory is formulated and progressively developed. Building on the theory of principles and parameters and, in particular, on principles of economy of derivation and representation, the minimalist framework takes Universal Grammar as providing a unique computational system, with derivations driven by morphological properties, to which the syntactic variation of languages is also restricted.

This breakthrough study argues for a significant link between phonetics and phonology. Its authors propose that phonological rules and representations are tightly constrained by the interaction of formal conditions drawn from a limited universal pool and substantive conditions of a phonetically motivated nature. They support this proposal through principled accounts of a variety of topics such as vowel harmony, neutrality, and under specification.

Essays in Linguistics in Honor of Sylvain Bromberger

These seven original essays commissioned in tribute to MIT Philosophy Professor Sylvain Bromberger present some of the most exciting research being conducted today in linguistics. Each essay is informed by Bromberger's ongoing inquiry into how we "come to know that there are things in the world that we don't know." Included in the collection is the edited version of Noam Chomsky's minimalist paper.

This is the first entry-level introduction to generative syntax to develop a foundational approach that rationally reconstructs syntactic theory from the perspective of current research. It shows how basic grammatical concepts are incorporated into general principles that answer some of the fundamental questions of syntactic analysis, including the relationships between lexical and phrasal categories, the integration of transformations, the restricted distribution of NPs; (lexical and nonlexical), and levels of syntactic representation.

Conditions on Its Application and Output

This major contribution to modern syntactic theory elaborates a principles-and-parameters framework in which the differences and similarities among languages with respect to WH-questions can be captured. Move alpha is part of an overall program, initiated by Noam Chomsky, to create a global theory in which the entire transformational component can be reduced to a single process, Move a. Lasnik and Saito are concerned particularly with bounding requirements on movement (Subjacency) and proper government requirements on traces (the Empty Category Principle).

Semantic Structures is a large-scale study of conceptual structure and its lexical and syntactic expression in English that builds on the theory of Conceptual Semantics described in Ray Jackendoff's earlier books Semantics and Cognition and Consciousness and the Computational Mind.

Edited by Robert Freidin

These essays by an outstanding group of linguists present case studies in contemporary comparative grammar, illustrating the rich and varied ways in which the principles and parameters framework of generative grammar can provide explanations for both the underlying universal properties of the world's languages and the ways in which they differ. The final essay by Noam Chomsky offers a new perspective on the principles and parameters approach to comparative grammar.

An Essay on Stress presents a universal theory for the characterization of the stress patterns of words and phrases encountered in the languages of the world. The heart of the theory is constituted by the formal mechanism for characterizing "action at a distance", which is a special case of the formalism needed for the construction of constituent structure.

Lectures on Binding and Empty Categories

A Course in GB Syntax is a new kind of linguistics textbook. It presents the fundamental concepts of the Government-Binding approach to syntax in a lecture-dialogue format that conveys the sense of a changing field, with live issues under debate.Students and professionals seeking a lucid introduction to the complexities of GB syntax will have the experience of participating in an actual course taught by a major practitioner.

The Managua Lectures

Language and Problems of Knowledge is Noam Chomsky's most accessible statement on the nature, origins, and current concerns of the field of linguistics. He frames the lectures with four fundamental questions: What do we know when we are able to speak and understand a language? How is this knowledge acquired? How do we use this knowledge? What are the physical mechanisms involved in the representation, acquisition, and use of this knowledge?

Language Use and Acquisition

Written primarily from the perspective of computational theory, Grammatical Basis of Linguistic Performance presents a synthesis of some major recent developments in grammatical theory and its application to models of language performance. Its main thesis is that Chomsky's government-binding theory is a good foundation for models of both machine parsing and language learnability.Both authors are at MIT. Robert C. Berwick is Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Amy Weinberg is in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.

The Relation between Sound and Structure

A fundamentally new approach to the theory of phonology and its relation to syntax is developed in this book, which is the first to address the question of the relation between syntax and phonology in a systematic way.

This book emphasizes the role of semantics as a bridge between the theory of language and the theories of other cognitive capacities such as visual perception and motor control. It develops the position that the study of semantics of natural language is the study of the structure of thought, and that grammatical structure offers a much more important source of evidence for the theory of cognition than is often supposed by linguists, philosophers, psychologists, or computer scientists.

A Study of Japanese and English

This book clarifies some of the central issues in Japanese syntax, pointing the way to solving several long-standing problems. It presents an alternative to the Standard Theory, a model which has dominated Japanese linguistics for a number of years.

An Inquiry into One Rule of English Grammar and Its Theoretical Implications

For some time it has been generally accepted by students of English grammar that a rule of Raising exists and that it functions to produce derived main clause subjects. Following Rosenbaum's work, it has also been widely accepted that this rule functions in a specified class of cases to derive main clause objects. However, in recent work, Chomsky has rejected the view that there is any Raising rule that produces derived main clause objects. According to his latest position, only the derived subject function of the rule is an actual feature of English grammar.

Like other recent work in the field of generative-transformational grammar, this book developed from a realization that many problems in linguistics involve semantics too deeply to be solved insightfully within the syntactic theory of Noam Chomsky's Aspect of the Theory of Syntax. Dr Jackendoff has attempted to take a broader view of semantics, studying the important contribution it makes to the syntactic patterns of English.

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