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Hardcover | Out of Print | 123 pp. | 6 x 9 in | December 1996 | ISBN: 9780262193795
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Surface Structure and Interpretation


Combinatory Categorial Grammar (CCG) offers a new approach to the theory of natural language grammar. Coordination, relativization, and related prosodic phenomena have been analyzed in CCG in terms of a radically revised notion of surface structure. CCG surface structures do not exhibit traditional notions of syntactic dominance and command, and do not constitute an autonomous level of representation. Instead, they reflect the computations by which a sentence may be realized or analyzed, to synchronously define a predicate-argument structure, or logical form. Surface Structure and Interpretation shows that binding and control can be captured at this level, preserving the advantages of CCG as an account of coordination and unbounded dependency.The core of the book is a detailed treatment of extraction, a focus of syntactic research since the early work of Chomsky and Ross. The topics addressed include the sources of subject-object asymmetries and phenomena attributed to the Empty Category Principle (ECP), asymmetric islands, parasitic gaps, and the relation of coordination and extraction, including their interactions with binding theory. In his conclusion, the author relates CCG to other categorial and type-driven approaches and to proposals for minimalism in linguistic theory.Linguistic Inquiry Monograph No. 30

About the Author

Mark Steedman is Professor of Cognitive Science in the Division of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Surface Structure and Interpretation (1996) and The Syntactic Process (2000), both published by the MIT Press.


“"How can one write a new book on classical mechanics? Hasn't everything already been said? No! Things have changed. Now that there are computers, you can actually solve the equations of motion for interesting problems. Mathematical niceties are not the obsession of the authors, but rather to find out what happens, by a natural combination of the mathematical argument and computer use. This new and effective approach should attract students to a subject which, since Newton, has constantly managed to rejuvenate itself."”
David Ruelle, Honorary Professor, Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifique
“"Sussman and Wisdom have reinvented classical mechanics for the computer age, freeing their students from the unrealistic integrable systems that dominate the traditional course and leading them to realistic kinds of systems that can now be studied on modern computers. They do this with a passion for clarity and conceptual rigor that leads to new general insights as well. Soon we will all understand the Legendre transformation in their new and elegant way."”
David Ritz Finkelstein, School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology
“"By making the physics precise enough to run on a computer, the authors open the door to a deeper understanding of classical reality, with the promise of a deeper understanding of all reality."”
Piet Hut, Professor of Astrophysics, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton