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Mirrors and Microparameters: Phrase Structure Beyond Free Word Order

Overview

What is the nature of syntactic structure? Why do some languages have radically free word order ('nonconfigurationality')? Do parameters vary independently (the micro-view) or can they co-vary en masse (the macro-view)? Mirrors and Microparameters examines these questions by looking beyond the definitional criterion of nonconfigurationality - that arguments may be freely ordered, omitted, and split. Drawing on data from Kiowa, a member of the largely undescribed Kiowa-Tanoan language family, the book reveals that...

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Overview

What is the nature of syntactic structure? Why do some languages have radically free word order ('nonconfigurationality')? Do parameters vary independently (the micro-view) or can they co-vary en masse (the macro-view)? Mirrors and Microparameters examines these questions by looking beyond the definitional criterion of nonconfigurationality - that arguments may be freely ordered, omitted, and split. Drawing on data from Kiowa, a member of the largely undescribed Kiowa-Tanoan language family, the book reveals that classically nonconfigurational languages can nonetheless exhibit robustly configurational effects. Reconciling the cooccurrence of such freedom with such rigidity has major implications for the Principles and Parameters program. This approach to nonconfigurational languages challenges widespread assumptions of linguistic theory and throws light on the syntactic structures, ordering principles, and nature of parametrization that comprise Universal Grammar.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107403598
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/27/2011
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics Series , #122
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 206
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David Adger is Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Queen Mary, University of London.

Daniel Harbour is a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at Queen Mary, University of London.

Laurel J. Watkins is Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics in the Department of Anthropology at Colorado College.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Nonconfigurationality and polysynthesis; 3. The clausal spin; 4. Making mirrors; 5. Interface properties of clausal domains; 6. Anti-quantification and the syntax-semantics interface; 7. Conclusion.

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