Rethinking Syntactocentrism

Architectural issues and case studies at the syntax-pragmatics interface

image of Rethinking Syntactocentrism

The term ‘syntactocentrism’ has been used to criticize the claim that syntax, as regarded in generative linguistics, plays the central role in modeling the mental architecture of the human language faculty. This research monograph explores the conjecture that many of the objections to the generative perspective, as they are formulated in alternative frameworks such as construction grammar, disappear once the consequences of recent minimalist theory are taken seriously. To show this, the book applies recent concepts of minimalist grammar to phenomena like the syntactic flexibility of idioms, the pragmatics of left-periphery-movement, or opacity effects involved in subextraction patterns. The book makes a new contribution to the field, as existing monographs on architectural matters in minimalism neither discuss alternative frameworks at length nor place a premium on pragmatic explanations for syntactic facts. The primary audience of this book are researchers and graduate students interested in a state-of-the-art discussion of grammatical architecture.


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