Derivational Approaches to Minimalist Syntax

Sam Epstein – University of Michigan
Hisa Kitahara – Keio University
Dan Seely – Eastern Michigan University
Course time: Tuesday/Thursday 1:30-3:20 pm
2353 Mason Hall

See Course Description

This course will cover a number of issues in contemporary Minimalist Theory and analysis. We will discuss why Minimalism, with its commitment to explanation, not mere description or just “data coverage,” accords with the standard goals of scientific theorizing. The question of which properties of human grammars are Linguistic and which might follow from more general law (third factor explanation) will be discussed in this context as well.  We will cover many aspects of Chomsky’s most recent work, and our own lines of research concerning this framework of inquiry, including:  The fundamental properties of derivations; the nature of computational efficiency; representations; Bare Output Conditions; the operations Merge, Agree, Labelling; constraints like the No Tampering Condition; the primacy of CI; Feature Inheritance and set intersected representation in Bare Phrase structure (multi-dominance).

Ideally the student will already have two courses in syntax, will know the mechanics of basic Minimalist analysis, and will have a strong interest in the goals of minimalist method, specifically the quest for explanation.


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