Description - Towards an Elegant Syntax by Michael Brody
Recent developments in the study of natural language syntax have suggested that theoretical elegance is an aim that should be more central in this area of investigation. This collection of essays, written between 1980 and 2001, places the search for theoretical elegance at centre stage. The author shows that although the conceptual difference between 'elegance' and the minimalist search for 'perfection' may appear to be subtle, its consequences are in fact wide ranging and radical. These considerations lead to a markedly different and novel theory of syntax where most of the major features of minimalism, such as derivation, economy, merge, move, phrases and projection, are not just reanalysed or shifted to other components but in a majority of cases are dispensed with completely or reduced to much simpler notions. The four-part structure of this book investigates the rise of elegant syntax. Articles in the first part of the book examine the search for theoretical elegance within the principles and parameters approach. Essays in the second part (written in the 1980s) show how elegance becomes an organizing principle in the study of syntax.
The second and third parts of this volume chronicle some of the various directions and stages that were taken in certain aspects of the search for elegance. Part 4 is devoted to mirror theory, the theory of syntactic representation in elegant syntax. Towards an Elegant Syntax makes available important and some less easily accessible publications together with new introductory material for the first time.
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(234mm x 156mm x 20mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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Author Biography - Michael Brody
Michael Brody is Professor of Linguistics at University College London and Scientific Advisor at the Linguistics Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.