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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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Optimal Design for Human Language

Optimal Design for Human Language

(p.1) 1 Optimal Design for Human Language
Locality in Minimalist Syntax

Thomas S. Stroik

The MIT Press

This book examines whether a syntactic theory requires both strictly local relations (operations) and minimality relations (operations). In particular, it considers whether the Minimalist Program, a research program that aims to define an optimal design for human language, requires minimality relations. It shows that minimality relations are not conceptually necessary and empirically justified within the Minimalist Program. It also argues that displacement comes from an operation that is local and repel-based, rather than from an operation that is either long-distance or attraction-based. Moreover, it proposes a radical reformulation of minimalist syntax and analyzes many of the underlying assumptions of minimalism. Finally, the book proposes an optimal design for human language that uses two, and only two, syntactic operations to build syntactic structure: Merge and Remerge.

Keywords:   Minimalist Program, local relations, minimality relations, optimal design, human language, minimalist syntax, Merge, Remerge, displacement

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