Jul 252020
 
This is not so much a blog post as it is a collection of things that I think deserve your attention. As you will see, it is quite a self-serving list, in that several of these works provide evidence in favor of claims that I have also been arguing for. But hey, it's my blog, right? đŸ˜Š … [read more]
Jun 182020
 
For a while now, I have been pondering the prospects of a realizational/interpretive theory in which spellout to PF and spellout to LF involve separate collections of rules, and where individual spellout rules crucially map from sets of syntactic terminals to exponents or to meaning primitives. (For a given spellout rule to be applicable, … [read more] blogpost: Architecture and Blocking revisited”
Apr 262020
 
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””
Apr 182020
 
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”

blogpost: Post-minimalism?

 Posted by on 02/16/2020  14 Responses »
Feb 162020
 
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?”
Dec 182019
 

David Pesetsky recently posted 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 there asking why we should support the LSA given that they publish things like the E&G "review."

The discussion thread in question devolved â€“ and this was partially my fault â€“ into a broader discussion of the pros and cons of the LSA as a professional organization, until David, rightly, asked that everyone shift focus back to the actual topic of his post.

In the interest of that, I thought I’d write some of my further thoughts on the LSA over here, rather than in the comments on David’s post. … [read more]

Oct 202019
 
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?”
Oct 032019
 

Here's a thing that I'm sure happens to everyone from time to time:

  1. You read or hear about phenomenon X or generalization X or theoretical proposal X.
  2. Time passes.
  3. You happen upon some new data or a new idea, for which X proves relevant.
  4. However, it turns out that you have imperfect recall of X. Unbeknownst to you, what you have in your head is actually some rejiggered version of X â€“ let's call it X' â€“ which conveniently-and-suspiciously suits your current theoretical or empirical needs. … [read more]