Problems of projection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

456 Scopus citations

Abstract

With the crystallization of the " generative enterprise" half a century ago, two concepts became salient: the initial state and final states of the language faculty, respectively, UG (the genetic component) and I-languages. Since then inquiry has gained far greater scope and depth. It has also led to sharpening of fundamental principles of language. At first, descriptive adequacy appeared to require rich and complex assumptions about UG. A primary goal has always been to overcome this deficiency. Core properties of concern have included compositionality, order, projection (labeling), and displacement. Early work assigned the first three to phrase structure rules and the last to the transformational component. Simplification of computational procedures suggests that compositionality and displacement (along with the " copy theory" ) fall together while order may be a reflex of sensorimotor externalization, conclusions that have far-reaching consequences. As for labeling, minimal computation restricts options to the few that have considerable empirical support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-49
Number of pages17
JournalLingua
Volume130
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Labeling algorithm
  • Merge
  • Minimal computation
  • Minimal search
  • Syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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