This collection of essays, written between 1980 and 2001, places the search for theoretical elegance at centre stage. The author shows that although the conceptual difference between 'elegance' and the minimalist search for 'perfection' may appear to be subtle, its consequences are in fact wide ranging and radical. These considerations lead to a markedly different and novel theory of syntax where most of the major features of minimalism, such as derivation, economy, merge, move, phrases and projection, are not just reanalysed or shifted to other components but in a majority of cases are dispensed with completely or reduced to much simpler notions.
Towards an Elegant Syntax makes available important and some less easily accessible publications with new introductory material.
Table of Contents
Introduction Principles and Parameters 1. 'On Circular Readings' 2. 'On Contextual Definitions and the Role of Chain' 3. 'On the Complementary Distribution of Empty Categories' Beyond Principles and Parameters 4. 'On Chomsky's Knowledge of Language' 5. 'A Note on the Organization of the Grammar' 6. 'Theta Theory and Arguments' Towards An Elegant Syntax 7. 'Projection and Phrase Structure' 8. 'Perfect Chains' 9. 'The Minimalist Program and a Perfect Syntax' 10. 'On the Status of Representations and Derivations' Aspects of Mirror Theory 11. 'Mirror Theory: Syntactic Representation in Perfect Syntax' 12. 'Roll-up Structures and Morphological Words' 13. 'Word Order, Restructuring and Mirror Theory'
Michael Brody is Professor of Linguistics at University College London and Scientific Advisor at the Linguistics Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
'There are priceless lessons for any serious student of syntax to learn from Brody's TES ... This work is a marvellous course in theory construction: the reader witnesses how Brody's conception of elegant syntax has been shaped and sharpened through the different stages of theoretical/technical development.' - Linguist List
'For close to a decade now, Michael Brody's publications have influenced linguistic theory to a considerable extent. Towards an Elegant Syntax (TES) is the best testimony tp that influence, as it retraces Brody's trajectory as a leader in syntactic theorizing.' - Linguistics, Volume 41