By formalizing recent syntactic theories for natural languages in the tradition of Chomsky's Barriers, Stabler shows how their complexity can be handled without guesswork or oversimplification. He introduces logical representations of these theories together with special deductive techniques for exploring their consequences that will provide linguists with a valuable tool for deriving and testing theoretical predictions and for experimenting with alternative formulations of grammatical principles.
Stabler's novel approach allows results to be deduced with straightforward calculations and provides a systematic framework for tackling the problem of how speakers can infer the properties of an utterance from principles of the grammar. The special treatment of equality, induction principles, and inclusion of a general method for collecting structures from proofs means that sophisticated linguistic arguments can be carried out in detail, giving a rich perspective to issues in linguistic theory and parsing.
About the Author
Edward P. Stabler, Jr., is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles.