Robert Freidin

Robert Freidin is Professor of the Council of the Humanities in the Philosophy Department at Princeton University.

  • 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important breakthroughs in the development of the principles and parameters framework and including a famous letter (unpublished until recently) from Vergnaud to Noam Chomsky and Howard Lasnik commenting on the first draft of their 1977 paper “Filters and Controls.”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.

    ContributorsJoseph 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 $75.00
    • Paperback $40.00
  • Foundations of Generative Syntax

    Foundations of Generative Syntax

    Robert Freidin

    This is the first entry-level introduction to generative syntax to develop a foundational approach that rationally reconstructs syntactic theory from the perspective of current research. It shows how basic grammatical concepts are incorporated into general principles that answer some of the fundamental questions of syntactic analysis, including the relationships between lexical and phrasal categories, the integration of transformations, the restricted distribution of NPs; (lexical and nonlexical), and levels of syntactic representation. The book introduces and motivates the basic components of Chomsky's principles-and-parameters theory with an extensive analysis of English and also data from a variety of other languages Beginning with simple concepts of phrase structure analysis, the text progresses systematically through the subtheories of Case, bounding, government, and predicate-argument structure (Θ-theory) to the more complicated concepts in binding theory and the analysis of empty categories. It also contains detailed discussions of overlapping conditions, a full discussion of the Principle of Lexical Satisfaction, as well as substantial material on parametric variation in bounding, Case, and binding. Many points of analysis refine the standard view. Numerous exercises reinforce and extend the concepts and analyses.

    • Hardcover $13.75
  • Principles and Parameters in Comparative Grammar

    Principles and Parameters in Comparative Grammar

    Robert Freidin

    These essays by an outstanding group of linguists present case studies in contemporary comparative grammar, illustrating the rich and varied ways in which the principles and parameters framework of generative grammar can provide explanations for both the underlying universal properties of the world's languages and the ways in which they differ. The final essay by Noam Chomsky offers a new perspective on the principles and parameters approach to comparative grammar. In his introduction, Freidin describes the historical background of current work in comparative grammar and compares this work to the comparative studies of the nineteenth century. He notes how the current approach traces the fundamental unity of all languages to the language faculty, in contrast to that of the nineteenth century which was primarily concerned with the ancestral relations among languages. The essays that follow convey the wide scope of the interaction between current theory and crosslinguistic studies. Topics include the relevance of binding theory for crosslinguistic studies; the interaction between the syntax/lexical semantics interface and the theory of UG; the role of phrase structure and levels of representation in accounting or syntactic variation; crosslinguistic variation in word order phenomena; and the ways in which the study of comparative grammar can itself contribute to the understanding of UG.

    ContributorsJoseph Aoun. Adriana Belletti. Noam Chomsky. Robert Freidin. Wayne Harbert. Norbert Hornstein. C.-T. James Huang. Anthony S. Kroch. Howard Lasnik. Yen-hui Audrey Li. David Lightfoot. Luigi Rizzi. Ken Safir. Beatrice Santorini. Rex A. Sprouse. Timothy Stowell. Tarald Taraldsen. Lisa deMena Travis. Edwin Williams

    • Hardcover $19.75
    • Paperback $40.00