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  13 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 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”
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,
 … [read more] blogpost: The occasional value of imprecise recall”
Aug 072019
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”
Jun 082019
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””