This book provides an introduction to some classic ideas and analyses of transformational generative grammar, viewed both on their own terms and from a more modern, or minimalist perspective. The major focus is on the set of analyses treating English verbal morphology. The book shows how the analyses in Chomsky's classic Syntactic Structures actually work, filling in underlying assumptions and often unstated formal particulars. From there the book moves to successive theoretical developments and revisions—both in general and in particular as they pertain to inflectional verbal morphology. After comparing Chomsky's economy-based account with his later minimalist approach, the book concludes with a hybrid theory of English verbal morphology that includes elements of both Syntactic Structures and A Minimalist Program for Linguistic Theory.
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).
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 presentation of fundamentals is followed by further examples, easily understandable discussion of technical questions, and alternative analyses within the same basic framework.The book fits welI between a more general introduction like van Riemsdijk and Williams' Introduction to the Theory of Grammar and the major GB literature. While it has been designed for use by graduate students in a second semester syntax course, it can serve as a reader's companion to important but sometimes forbidding texts like Noam Chomsky's Lectures on Government and Binding and Some Concepts and Consequences of the Theory of Government and Binding.The informal tone makes the subject more approachable; examples are worked out more slowly and in greater detail than is possible in the primary sources; and the definitions and notational devices are carefully explained. Finally, many of the questions that the student might want to raise are raised (in fact, by students) and answers and alternatives are explored.The lectures give an overview of the modular GB model and cover in detail Case theory; Binding Theory; the determination of "empty categories," parasitic gaps, and the Empty Category Principle; extensions and alternatives, such as Aoun's "Generalized Binding Theory" and Higginbotham's "linking" analysis, and various open questions, such as the nature of the Case filter, tough movement, weak crossover, illicit NP-movement, and topicalization.Howard Lasnik is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Connecticut. Juan Uriagereka, one of his graduate students, transcribed and did the initial editing of the tapes of the original lectures. Current Studies in Linguistics.