Parsing in the minimalist program: On SOV languages and relativization

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I examine computational issues in the processing of SOV languages in the probe-goal theory of the Minimalist Program. A theory that minimizes search, such as the probe-goal theory, provides a strong linguistic basis for the investigation of efficient parsing architecture. For parsing, two main design challenges are presented: (i) how to limit search while incrementally recovering structure from input without the benefit of a pre-determined lexical array, and (ii) how to come up with a system that not only correctly resolves parsing ambiguities, but does so with mechanisms that are architecturally justified. I take as the starting point an existing probe-goal parser with features that allow it to compute syntactic representation without recourse to derivation history search. I extend this parser to handle pre-nominal relative clauses of the sort found in SOV languages. I provide a unified computational account of facts on possessor (and non-possessor) relativization and processing preferences in Turkish, Japanese, and Korean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-252+404
JournalCanadian Journal of Linguistics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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