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Mind Design and Minimal Syntax$
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Wolfram Hinzen

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199289257

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289257.001.0001

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Beyond the Autonomy of Syntax

Beyond the Autonomy of Syntax

(p.150) 5 Beyond the Autonomy of Syntax
Mind Design and Minimal Syntax

Wolfram Hinzen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that syntax in the sense of the generative tradition has never been autonomous. The non-Chomskyan assumption that it is or has been, found for example in Jackendoff's views of the architecture of the language faculty, is criticized. The generative project, if one looks at its evolution, reflects a coherent move towards making independently motivated structural conditions on syntax explanatory for structural aspects of linguistic meaning. The status of ‘semantics’ is discussed in this light. Generative grammar in its technical aspects is introduced from the bottom-up, isolating various components to analyse their semantic effects, i.e., their causal role in the emergence of a systemic semantics of the kind that human language exhibits. Non-functional rationalizations of movement are discussed.

Keywords:   linguistic explanation, syntactic meaning, phrase structure, transformational components, merge, movement

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