Howard Lasnik

Howard Lasnik is a Professor at the University of Connecticut.

  • Syntactic Structures Revisited

    Syntactic Structures Revisited

    Contemporary Lectures on Classic Transformational Theory

    Howard Lasnik

    with Marcela Depiante and Arthur Stepanov

    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.

    Current Studies in Linguistics No. 33

    • Hardcover $62.50 £52.00
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00
  • Move α

    Move α

    Conditions on Its Application and Output

    Howard Lasnik and Mamoru Saito

    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 α 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 α. Lasnik and Saito are concerned particularly with bounding requirements on movement (Subjacency) and proper government requirements on traces (The Empty Category Principle). The first two chapters present and extend the ideas proposed in the author's earlier article, "On the Nature of Proper Government." Included are detailed discussions of γ-marking, the general rule Affect α, and the definition of proper government, particularly as these relate to WH constructions. The next two chapters propose a modification of Chomsky's Barriers Theory on the basis of a close examination of topicalization and examine the consequences of the modified theory. The discussion extends to restrictions on possible antecedent governors and the implications for quantifier raising and NP-movement of these restrictions. Consequences for Superiority are also considered, and a modified version of this condition is proposed, as is an extension of Chomsky's Uniformity Condition. The final chapter takes up further theoretical issues and alternative approaches.

    • Hardcover $70.00 £58.00
    • Paperback $19.75 £15.99
  • A Course In GB Syntax

    A Course In GB Syntax

    Lectures on Binding and Empty Categories

    Howard Lasnik and Juan Uriagereka

    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 well 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.

    • Hardcover $40.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00

Contributor

  • Foundational Issues in Linguistic Theory

    Foundational Issues in Linguistic Theory

    Essays in Honor of Jean-Roger Vergnaud

    Robert Freidin, Carlos P. Otero, and Maria Luisa Zubizarreta

    Essays by leading theoretical linguists—including Noam Chomsky, B. Elan Dresher, Richard Kayne, Howard Lasnik, Morris Halle, Norbert Hornstein, Henk van Riemsdijk, and Edwin Williams—reflect on Jean-Roger Vergnaud's influence in the field and discuss current theoretical issues

    Jean-Roger Vergnaud's work on the foundational issues in linguistics has proved influential over the past three decades. At MIT in 1974, Vergnaud (now holder of the Andrew W. Mellon Professorship in Humanities at the University of Southern California) made a proposal in his Ph.D. thesis that has since become, in somewhat modified form, the standard analysis for the derivation of relative clauses. Vergnaud later integrated the proposal within a broader theory of movement and abstract case. These topics have remained central to theoretical linguistics. In this volume, essays by leading theoretical linguists attest to the importance of Jean-Roger Vergnaud's contributions to linguistics. The essays first discuss issues in syntax, documenting important breakthroughs in the development of the principles and parameters framework and including a famous letter (unpublished until recently) from Vergnaud to Noam Chomsky and Howard Lasnik commenting on the first draft of their 1977 paper “Filters and Controls.” Vergnaud's writings on phonology (which, the editors write, “take a definite syntactic turn”) have also been influential, and the volume concludes with two contributions to that field. The essays, rewarding from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, not only offer insight into Vergnaud's impact on the field but also describe current work on the issues he introduced into the scholarly debate.

    Contributors Joseph Aoun, Elabbas Benmamoun, Cedric Boeckx, Noam Chomsky, B. Elan Dresher, Robert Freidin, Morris Halle, Norbert Hornstein, Richard S. Kayne, Samuel Jay Keyser, Howard Lasnik, Yen-hui Audrey Li, M. Rita Manzini, Karine Megerdoomian, David Michaels, Henk van Riemsdijk, Alain Rouveret, Leonardo M. Savoia, Jean-Roger Vergnaud, Edwin Williams

    • Hardcover $16.75 £13.99
    • Paperback $40.00 £32.00
  • An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Second Edition, Volume 1

    An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Second Edition, Volume 1

    Language

    Lila Gleitman, Mark Liberman, and Daniel N. Osherson

    An Invitation to Cognitive Science provides a point of entry into the vast realm of cognitive science, offering selected examples of issues and theories from many of its subfields. All of the volumes in the second edition contain substantially revised and as well as entirely new chapters.

    Rather than surveying theories and data in the manner characteristic of many introductory textbooks in the field, An Invitation to Cognitive Science employs a unique case study approach, presenting a focused research topic in some depth and relying on suggested readings to convey the breadth of views and results. Each chapter tells a coherent scientific story, whether developing themes and ideas or describing a particular model and exploring its implications.

    The volumes are self contained and can be used individually in upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses ranging from introductory psychology, linguistics, cognitive science, and decision sciences, to social psychology, philosophy of mind, rationality, language, and vision science.

    • Hardcover $65.00
    • Paperback $45.00 £38.00