Linguistic Minimalism: Origins, Concepts, Methods, and Aims / Edition 1

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Boeckx examines the foundations and explains the underlying philosophy of the Minimalist Program for linguistic theory, the most radical version to date of Noam Chomsky's naturalistic approach to language. He exemplifies its methods, considers the significance of its results, and explores its roots and antecedents. He disentangles and clarifies current debates and shows how the Minimalist Program lies at the centre of the enterprise to understand the human language faculty. The book is written for everyone in and outside the field who wants to know about current developments in theoretical linguistics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Linguistic Minimalism is the most ambitious presentation and defense of the minimalist program published to date. My overall assessment is that Boeckx has done an excellent job. I recommend Linguistic Minimalism to anyone with a good background in syntactic theory who wants to know what the minimalist program is all about. Cedric Boeckx has written a book that puts the program in the best possible light." —Frederick J. Newmeyer, Language

"This concise book is certainly a welcome addition to the literature on generative biolinguistics. Committed minimalists will appreciate Boeckx's unabashed and passionate boosterism, while skeptics and relentless critics of the minimalism program can try to stand up to his challenge. On both ends, it is enjoyable reading." —Naoki Fukui, Language

"This deeply-informed study, drawing from a wide diversity of domains, provides a thoughtful perspective on how a minimalist program in linguistics emerges as a natural outcome of advances in understanding of the nature of language and its acquisition. It also outlines a course the program might take in seeking to identify the distinctive properties of human language, separating them from the effects of more general principles, which may reduce to laws of nature. To determine its special properties has been the goal of serious inquiry into language from its ancient origins. Such inquiry is now taking quite new forms, and, as Boeckx shows, is productively investigating questions that could scarcely have been formulated not long ago."—Noam Chomsky

"An engaging, accessible, important exposition of Chomsky's pioneering Program, including its normal scientific evolution, the higher standards of explanation it imposes and the exciting new interdisciplinary linkages it has established."—Samuel David Epstein, University of Michigan

"Linguistic Minimalism, Origins, Methods, and Aims is an insightful presentation of the conceptual underpinnings and internal logic of the Minimalist Program. It will show the curious why those of us pursuing this program are so excited by its prospects."—Howard Lasnik, University of Maryland

"An engaging, accessible, important exposition of Chomsky's pioneering Program, including its normal scientific evolution, the higher standards of explanation it imposes and the exciting new interdisciplinary linkages it has established."—Samuel David Epstein, University of Michigan

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199297580
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2006
  • Series: Oxford Linguistics Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Cedric Boeckx is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Harvard University. He received his PhD from the University of Connecticut in 2001. He has held visiting positions at the Universities of Illinois and Maryland. His research interests are in theoretical syntax, comparative grammar, and architectural questions of language, including its origins and its development in children and its neurobiological basis. He is the author of Islands and Chains (2003), co-editor with Kleanthes K. Grohmann of Multiple Wh-fronting (2003), and co-author with Howard Lasnik and Juan Uriagereka of A Course in Minimalist Syntax (2005). He has published numerous articles in journals such as Linguistic Inquiry and Natural Language and Linguistic Theory.

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Table of Contents

1. Minimalism in Linguistic Theory: History and Essence
2. The Galilean Emphasis of the Minimalist Program
3. Minimalism Made Concrete

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