Bare Grammar: A Study of Language Invariants

Overview

Drawing on general algebraic notions of structure and symmetry, this volume explores the invariants of generative grammars, showing how structural notions in generative grammar are provably invariant in grammars, and specific morphemes are invariant in exactly the same sense in languages that have them.

Edward Keenan and Edward Stabler’s analysis illustrates how relations such as the anaphor-antecedent relation can be invariant in all grammars, even if realized differently in ...

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Overview

Drawing on general algebraic notions of structure and symmetry, this volume explores the invariants of generative grammars, showing how structural notions in generative grammar are provably invariant in grammars, and specific morphemes are invariant in exactly the same sense in languages that have them.

Edward Keenan and Edward Stabler’s analysis illustrates how relations such as the anaphor-antecedent relation can be invariant in all grammars, even if realized differently in different languages, and it argues that the existence of universal invariants does not assume that grammars of different languages are isomorphic. Bare Grammar ultimately concludes that the relation between form and meaning is not entirely arbitrary.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
1.1 Language invariants and bare grammar 14
1.2 Some properties of bare grammars 18
2 Some case studies 43
2.1 A case marking language 43
2.2 Free word order and second position 53
2.3 A voice marking language 64
2.4 A language with relative clauses 73
3 Some familiar grammars 97
3.1 Context free grammars 99
3.2 Categorial grammars 104
3.3 Multiple context free grammars 116
3.4 Constraint-based grammars 123
3.5 Structure and expressive power 130
3.6 Summary and open questions 131
4 Laws of Language 135
4.1 The structural role of grammatical categories 135
4.2 A language with agreement 141
4.3 Constraints on recursion 154
4.4 Constraints relating form and meaning 162
Acknowledgements 175
References 177
Index 187
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