The complexity of Narrow Syntax: minimalism, representational economy, and simplest Merge

Andreas Trotzke, Jan-Wouter Zwart



    This paper considers the question of formal complexity measurement within linguistic minimalism and argues that information structure properties should not be encoded in narrow syntax as features triggering movement, suggesting that the relevant information is established at the interfaces. Also, it argues for a minimalist model of grammar in which complexity arises out of the cyclic interaction of subderivations. This model allows one to rephrase the question of the formal complexity of a generative grammar, such that a different answer is forthcoming depending on whether we consider the grammar as a whole, or just narrow syntax. The grammar as a whole, including interface components in addition to narrow syntax, as well as recursive interaction among subderivations, is vastly more complicated than a finite-state grammar, but there is no reason for concluding that narrow syntax is not simply finite-state.
    Originele taal-2English
    TitelMeasuring grammatical complexity
    RedacteurenFrederick Newmeyer, Laurel Preston
    Plaats van productieOxford
    UitgeverijOxford University Press
    Aantal pagina's20
    ISBN van geprinte versie978-0-19-968530-1
    StatusPublished - 30-okt-2014
    EvenementFormal linguistics and the measurement of grammatical complexity - University of Washington, Seattle, United States
    Duur: 23-mrt-2013 → …


    ConferenceFormal linguistics and the measurement of grammatical complexity
    Land/RegioUnited States
    Periode23/03/2013 → …

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