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Géraldine Legendre

Geraldine Legendre is Professor of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University and a preeminent syntactician of French.

Titles by This Author

From Neural Computation to Optimality-Theoretic Grammar Volume I: Cognitive Architecture
From Neural Computation to Optimality-Theoretic Grammar Volume II: Linguistic and Philosophical Implications

Despite their apparently divergent accounts of higher cognition, cognitive theories based on neural computation and those employing symbolic computation can in fact strengthen one another. To substantiate this controversial claim, this landmark work develops in depth a cognitive architecture based in neural computation but supporting formally explicit higher-level symbolic descriptions, including new grammar formalisms.

Detailed studies in both phonology and syntax provide arguments that these grammatical theories and their neural network realizations enable deeper explanations of early acquisition, processing difficulty, cross-linguistic typology, and the possibility of genomically encoding universal principles of grammar. Foundational questions concerning the explanatory status of symbols for central problems such as the unbounded productivity of higher cognition are also given proper treatment.

The work is made accessible to scholars in different fields of cognitive science through tutorial chapters and numerous expository boxes providing background material from several disciplines. Examples common to different chapters facilitate the transition from more basic to more sophisticated treatments. Details of method, formalism, and foundation are presented in later chapters, offering a wealth of new results to specialists in psycholinguistics, language acquisition, theoretical linguistics, computational linguistics, computational neuroscience, connectionist modeling, and philosophy of mind.

Titles by This Editor

Recent work in theoretical syntax has revealed the strong explanatory power of the notions of economy, competition, and optimization. Building grammars entirely upon these elements, Optimality Theory syntax provides a theory of universal grammar with a formally precise and strongly restricted theory of universal typology: cross-linguistic variation arises exclusively from the conflict among universal principles.

Beginning with a general introduction to Optimality Theory syntax, this volume provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the art, as represented by the work of the leading developers of the theory. The broad range of topics treated includes morphosyntax (case, inflection, voice, and cliticization), the syntax of reference (control, anaphora, an pronominalization), the gammar of clauses (complementizers and their absence), and grammatical and discourse effects in word order. Among the theoretical themes running throughout are the interplay between faithfulness and markedness, and various questions of typology and of inventory.

Peter Ackema, Judith Aissen, Eric Bakovic, Joan Bresnan, Hye-Won Choi, João Costa, Jane Grimshaw, Edward Keer, Géraldine Legendre, Gereon Müller, Ad Neeleman, Vieri Samek-Lodovici, Peter Sells, Margaret Speas, Sten Vikner, Colin Wilson, Ellen Woolford.