Dec 262020
I was reading some comments by Dan Milway about Chomsky’s recent UCLA lectures, and I realized something I hadn’t noticed before: committing oneself to the brand of minimalism that Chomsky has been preaching lately means committing oneself to a fairly strong version of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. Here’s why. Consider … [read more] blogpost: Noam Chomsky and Benjamin Lee Whorf walk into a bar…”
Oct 282020
From time to time, the term “ecological validity” is thrown around in connection with linguistic research. And you’d think I’d be calloused by now, but no: I’m astounded anew every time someone treats this as something that’s self-evidently desirable (and not, say, as anathema to how most science works). The term “ecological validity”, … [read more] blogpost: “Ecological validity””
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 this “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]