Regimes of Derivation in Syntax and Morphology: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Regimes of Derivation in Syntax and Morphology

1st Edition

By Edwin Williams


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Regimes of Derivation in Syntax and Morphology presents a theory of the architecture of the human linguistic system that differs from all current theories on four key points. First, the theory rests on a modular separation of word syntax from phrasal syntax, where word syntax corresponds roughly to what has been called derivational morphology. Second, morphosyntax (corresponding to what is traditionally called "inflectional morphology") is the immediate spellout of the syntactic merge operation, and so there is no separate morphosyntactic component. There is no LF (logical form) derived; that is, there is no structure which 'mirrors' semantic interpretation ("LF"); instead, semantics interprets the derivation itself. And fourth, syntactic islands are derived purely as a consequence of the formal mechanics of syntactic derivation, and so there are no bounding nodes, no phases, no subjacency, and in fact no absolute islands. Lacking a morphosyntactic component and an LF representation are positive benefits as these provide temptations for theoretical mischief. The theory is a descendant of the author's "Representation Theory" and so inherits its other benefits as well, including explanations for properties of reconstruction, remnant movement, improper movement, and scrambling/scope interactions, and the different embedding regimes for clauses and DPs. Syntactic islands are added to this list as special cases of improper movement.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Part I. Morphology and Derivation 1. "Dumping Lexicalism" 2. Derivational Prefixes are Projective, not Realizational 3. Merge and Mirrors Part II. Functional Structure and Derivation 4. Subjects of Different Heights 5. There Is No Alternative to Cartography 6. Scope and Verb Meanings 7. Islands Regained

About the Author

Edwin Williams received his PhD from MIT in 1974, and has worked at Princeton University for the last 20 years. He co-authered "Introduction to Syntactic Theory" with H. van Riemsdijk in 1986, coauthored "On the Definition of Word" with A-M. di Sciullo in 1986, wrote "Thematic Structure in Syntax in 1994, and "Representation Theory" in 2003.

About the Series

Routledge Leading Linguists

The books in this series, Routledge Leading Linguists, draw together some of the seminal essays from the most important linguists of the last decades. Each book covers one scholar, making the best of his or her work readily accessible and available in one place for the first time.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Morphology
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Syntax