Mirrors and Microparameters: Phrase Structure beyond Free Word Order (Cambridge Studies in Linguistics)

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9780521517560: Mirrors and Microparameters: Phrase Structure beyond Free Word Order (Cambridge Studies in Linguistics)

What is the nature of syntactic structure? Why do some languages have radically free word order ('nonconfigurationality')? Do parameters vary independently (the micro-view) or can they co-vary en masse (the macro-view)? Mirrors and Microparameters examines these questions by looking beyond the definitional criterion of nonconfigurationality - that arguments may be freely ordered, omitted, and split. Drawing on data from Kiowa, a member of the largely undescribed Kiowa-Tanoan language family, the book reveals that classically nonconfigurational languages can nonetheless exhibit robustly configurational effects. Reconciling the cooccurrence of such freedom with such rigidity has major implications for the Principles and Parameters program. This approach to nonconfigurational languages challenges widespread assumptions of linguistic theory and throws light on the syntactic structures, ordering principles, and nature of parametrization that comprise Universal Grammar.

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Book Description:

Drawing on data from Kiowa, a member of the largely undescribed Kiowa-Tanoan language family, this book reveals that classically nonconfigurational languages can nonetheless exhibit configurational effects. This approach challenges widespread assumptions of linguistic theory and throws light on the syntactic structures and ordering principles of Universal Grammar.

About the Author:

David Adger is Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Queen Mary, University of London. Daniel Harbour is a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at Queen Mary, University of London. Laurel J. Watkins is Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics in the Department of Anthropology at Colorado College.

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