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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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(p.117) 4 Conclusion
Locality in Minimalist Syntax

Thomas S. Stroik

The MIT Press

The transformational rules of generative grammar significantly overgenerate the output of natural language, producing grammars that children would find impossible to learn. To address this problem, the generative grammarians of the 1970s and 1980s augmented grammars with output filters such as Noam Chomsky’s A-over-A Principle and Joseph Emond’s Structure Preserving Condition. As a result, three platforms of rules were introduced for generative grammars: local phrase structure rules, nonlocal transformational rules, and conditions/filters on rules. These rules have been embraced by most early versions of minimalism proposed in the 1990s. In particular, these minimalist models assumed that the system of operations/rules includes Merge, Move, and conditions on rules. In order to reduce the processing needs of minimalism, Chomsky delimited the system of operations to local External Merge and short-distance Internal Merge. Move-type operations do not trigger the displacement of human language.

Keywords:   Noam Chomsky, generative grammar, Merge, Move, minimalism, displacement, human language, transformational rules, External Merge, Internal Merge

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