By Andrew Radford
Analysing English Sentences presents a concise and transparent creation to present paintings in syntactic concept, drawing at the key thoughts of Chomskys Minimalist application. Assuming very little previous wisdom of syntax or minimalism, Radford outlines the center options and best rules and the way they are often used to explain numerous features of the syntax of English. a various variety of themes is roofed, together with syntactic constitution, null components, head circulate, case and contract and break up projections. utilizing Radfords trademark method and writing sort, the publication is in depth and innovative in nature, introducing grammatical strategies and dealing in phases in the direction of extra complicated phenomena.
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Additional info for Analysing English sentences: a minimalist approach
The parameter which determines the relative positioning of heads with respect to their complements), the Language Faculty allows only a binary set of possibilities – namely that a given kind of structure in a given language is either consistently head-first or consistently head-last. We can generalise the discussion in this section in the following terms. If the Head Position Parameter reduces to a simple binary choice, and if the Wh-Parameter and the Null Subject Parameter also involve binary choices, it seems implausible that binarity could be an accidental property of these particular parameters.
After all, the fact that a given construction does not occur in a given chunk of the child’s experience does not provide conclusive evidence that the structure is ungrammatical, since it may well be that the non-occurrence of the relevant structure in the relevant chunk of experience is an accidental (rather than a systematic) gap. Thus, the child would need to process a very large (in principle, infinite) chunk of experience in order to be sure that non-occurrence reflects ungrammaticality. It is implausible that young children process massive chunks of experience in this way and search through it for negative evidence about the non-occurrence of certain types of structure, since this would impose an unrealistic memory load on them.
Without shoe. With potty. In keyhole. In school. On carpet. On box. With crayons. To mummy 28 grammar The obvious conclusion to be drawn from structures like (26) is that children like Jem consistently position heads before their complements from the very earliest multiword utterances they produce. g. g. they don’t position verbs before and prepositions after their complements). A natural question to ask at this point is how we can provide a principled explanation for the fact that from the very onset of multiword speech we find English children correctly positioning heads before their complements.