Economy and Semantic Interpretation
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From Linguistic Inquiry Monographs

Economy and Semantic Interpretation

By Daniel Fox

Exploring the relevance of principles of optimization to the interface between syntax and semantics.

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Summary

Exploring the relevance of principles of optimization to the interface between syntax and semantics.

In Economy and Semantic Interpretation, Danny Fox investigates the relevance of principles of optimization (economy) to the interface between syntax and semantics. Supporting the view that grammar is restricted by economy considerations, Fox argues for various economy conditions that constrain the application of "covert" operations. Among other things, he argues that syntactic operations that do not affect phonology cannot apply unless they affect the semantic interpretation of a sentence. This position has a number of consequences for the architecture of grammar. For example, it suggests that the modularity assumption, according to which a language's syntax must be characterized independently of its semantics, needs to be revised. Another consequence concerns new answers to the question of exactly where in the syntactic derivation the various constraints on interpretation apply. Linguistic Inquiry Monograph No. 35Copublished with the MIT Working Papers in Linguistics series.

Hardcover

Out of Print ISBN: 9780262062060 208 pp. | 9 in x 6 in

Paperback

$24.00 X | £18.99 ISBN: 9780262561211 208 pp. | 9 in x 6 in

Endorsements

  • In a radical departure from the research of the past two decades, Economy and Semantic Interpretation shows that principles of optimization regulate the form of linguistic structures at the interface with the semantic component. It is a pioneering work that opens new research venues concerning the nature and working of the Logical Form component.nia

    Joseph Aoun

    Professor of Linguistics, University of Southern California

  • This finely-crafted inquiry is a major contribution to linguistictheory and to the study of syntax-semantics interconnections inparticular. Fox develops a simple and far-reaching generalprinciple of economy, and applies it to intricate data, much ofit new, with careful and compelling argument. It is a trulyoutstanding achievement, which is sure to be highly influential,and deservedly so.

    Noam Chomsky

    MIT