For the last ten years or so, Chomsky has been claiming increasingly often that the discrete bifurcation of expressions into “grammatical” and “ungrammatical” is incorrect. I think he is wrong, or at least that these claims are without any current basis. But before explaining why, it’s important to set some parameters of … [read more] “blogpost: On so-called “degrees of grammaticality””
Matushansky (2006) proposes to replace the head-adjunction mechanism of Government & Binding theory (call it “Theory1”) with a version that involves movement to a specifier position followed by “m-merger” of the specifier with the adjacent head (call this “Theory2”). One of the major selling points is supposed to be that Theory2 … [read more] “blogpost: On the “interleaving” of morphology & syntax”
I was recently invited to contribute a short piece about Agree to the This Or That Publisher’s Handbook of Minimalism, and it made me wonder to what extent I, or really most other generative syntacticians who got their PhDs after about 2005 or so, can be considered to still be doing “minimalism.” … [read more] “blogpost: Post-minimalism?”
At the polite urging of the particle linguist, I have been thinking about adding a blogroll to my site. (As keen observers will discern, this urging is about a year old now… Better late than never!) As the particle linguist points out, this is standard practice in other blogospheres, and it strikes … [read more] “blogpost: blogroll? blogroll!”
Ever since Phase Theory was first put forth by Chomsky, it has been taken for granted that phases include at least CP and transitive vP (or whatever you think the highest projection in a transitive verb phrase is). More recently, Keine (2017) has presented a very nice argument that vPs, … [read more] “blogpost: What is and isn’t evidence for a phase”
David Pesetsky recently posted to facebook Cilene Rodrigues’ response to Everett & Gibson’s “review” of the Recursion Across Domains book, for the Linguistic Society of America (LSA)’s flagship journal, Language. I posted a comment in the discussion thread below the post, asking why we should support the LSA given that they publish things like … [read more] “blogpost: Two problems with the LSA”
I just got home from Oslo, where I had many really interesting interactions with several linguists. One of them was a conversation with fellow visitor Jonathan Bobaljik. We were talking about the relatively well-known observation that for many alleged “syntax-semantics mapping phenomena,” the expected mappings only go through if the syntax … [read more] “blogpost: Meaning contrasts: generated or parasitic?”
Here’s a thing that I’m sure happens to everyone from time to time:
- You read or hear about phenomenon X or generalization X or theoretical proposal X.
- Time passes.
- You happen upon some new data or a new idea, for which X proves relevant.
- However, it turns out that you have imperfect recall of X. Unbeknownst to you,
This is a post about listedness: the nature of the idiosyncratic information that is listed in the grammar. In traditional, lexicalist approaches, the listed atoms were lexical items. A lexical item contained, at minimum, a phonological form, a semantic interpretation, and some syntactic information. The syntactic information included … [read more] “blogpost: Listemes and morphemes and other things”
There’s been a fair amount of generative linguistics work over the past 15 years or so that identifies itself as “morphosemantics.” There are several reasons why I don’t think morphosemantics is a coherent notion. In this post, I’d like to detail some of these reasons. You’ve probably heard ~1.5 of them before, though, … [read more] “blogpost: The problem with “morphosemantics””