The role of the language production system in shaping grammars

Dana McDaniel, Cecile McKee, Wayne Cowart, Merrill F. Garrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We argue for an extension of the proposal that grammars are in part shaped by processing systems. Hawkins (2014) and others who have advanced this idea focus primarily on parsing. Our ex- tension focuses on production, and we use that to explore explanations for certain subject/object asymmetries in extraction structures. The phenomenon we examine, which we term the mirror asymmetry, runs in opposite directions for within-clause and across-clause (long-distance) ex- traction, showing a preference for subject extraction in the former and for object extraction in the latter. We review several types of evidence suggesting that the mirror asymmetry and related phenomena are best explained by an account of the formation of grammars that assigns an important role to properties of sentence planning in production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-441
Number of pages27
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • Extraction
  • Language acquisition
  • Language evolution
  • Language production
  • Linguistic ecosystem
  • Mirror asymmetry
  • Performance-grammar correspondence hypothesis
  • Relative clause
  • Syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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