This collection explicates one of the core ideas underpinning Minimalist theory – explanation via simplification – and its role in shaping some of the latest developments within this framework, specifically the simplest Merge hypothesis and the reduction of syntactic phenomena to third factor considerations.
Bringing together recent papers on the topic by Epstein, Kitahara, and Seely, with one by Epstein, Seely and Obata, and one by Kitahara, the book begins with an introduction which situates the papers in a cohesive overview of some of the latest research on Minimalism, as facilitated by current theoretical developments. The volume integrates a historical overview of evolutions in Merge, starting with Chomsky’s (pre-Merge) Aspects model up to current theoretical models, including a primer of Chomsky’s most recent theory of Merge based on the concept of Workspace. The Minimalist notions of "perfection" and "simplification" are also outlined, providing clearly explicated coverage of key technical concepts within the framework as applied to grammatical phenomena.
Taken as a whole, the collection both introduces and advances Minimalist theory for students and scholars in linguistics and related sub-disciplines of psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science, as well as offering new directions for future research for researchers in these fields.
Preface, in Memoriam by Noam Chomsky
1. From Aspects' "daughterless mothers2 (aka delta nodes) to POP’s "motherless" sets (aka non-projection): a selective history of the evolution of Simplest Merge
2. Phase cancellation by external pair-merge of heads
3.A labeling analysis of selection in structured coordination
4. Is the faculty of language a "perfect solution" to the interface systems?
5. Merge, labeling, and their interactions
6. Is linguistic variation entirely linguistic?
7. A simpler solution to two problems revealed about the composite-operation Agree
8. Some concepts and consequences of 3rd factor-compliant simplest MERGE
9. Unifying labeling under minimal search in "single-" and "multiple-specifier" configurations