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Cross-Linguistic Variation and Efficiency$
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John A. Hawkins

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199664993

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664993.001.0001

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Three general efficiency principles

Three general efficiency principles

(p.11) 2 Three general efficiency principles
Cross-Linguistic Variation and Efficiency

John A. Hawkins

Oxford University Press

This chapter defines three basic efficiency principles that are at the heart of the ‘Performance–Grammar Correspondence Hypothesis’: Minimize Domains, Minimize Forms, and Maximize Online Processing. Each is briefly illustrated with some relevant performance and grammatical data taken from Hawkins (2004), but with a new discussion of relativizer omission and of gaps and resumptive pronouns in relatives seen from this perspective. The relationship between complexity and efficiency is defined and it is argued that efficiency is the more general and inclusive notion. Some competitions between different efficiencies in variation data are illustrated.

Keywords:   competition, efficiency principles, Maximize Online Processing, Minimize Domains, Minimize Forms, relative clauses

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