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Locality in Minimalist Syntax$
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Thomas S. Stroik

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012928

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012928.001.0001

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The SURVIVE Principle

The SURVIVE Principle

(p.29) 2 The SURVIVE Principle
Locality in Minimalist Syntax

Thomas S. Stroik

The MIT Press

This chapter presents the core arguments of SURVIVE and the Remerge derivational theory of syntax. Using multiple-wh constructions and superraising constructions, it shows that the displacement property of human language follows from the SURVIVE Principle, a principle whereby a head H is forced to “repel” XP constituents possessing features that are not compatible with the features of H. The SURVIVE Principle provides not only an interesting, empirically adequate analysis of various displacement phenomena, but also an optimal solution to the design problem of human language. The chapter demonstrates that an optimal theory of grammar will only include strictly local operations and that syntactic operations will not move constituents.

Keywords:   SURVIVE Principle, Remerge, derivational theory, syntax, multiple-wh constructions, superraising constructions, displacement, human language, grammar, optimal theory

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