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Non-Transformational Syntax: Formal and Explicit Models of Grammar

Robert Borsley (Editor), Kersti Borjars (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-9502-0
464 pages
September 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Non-Transformational Syntax: Formal and Explicit Models of Grammar (1444395025) cover image
This authoritative introduction explores the four main non-transformational syntactic frameworks: Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Lexical-Functional Grammar, Categorial Grammar, and Simpler Syntax. It also considers a range of issues that arise in connection with these approaches, including questions about processing and acquisition.
  • An authoritative introduction to the main alternatives to transformational grammar
  • Includes introductions to three long-established non-transformational syntactic frameworks: Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Lexical-Functional Grammar, and Categorial Grammar, along with the recently developed Simpler Syntax
  • Brings together linguists who have developed and shaped these theories to illustrate the central properties of these frameworks and how they handle some of the main phenomena of syntax
  • Discusses a range of issues that arise in connection with non-transformational approaches, including processing and acquisition
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List of Contributors.

Introduction: Robert D. Borsley (University of Essex) and Kersti Börjars (University of Manchester).

1. Elementary principles of Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar (Georgia M Green).

2. Advanced topics in Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar Andreas (Kathol, Adam Przepiórkowski and Jesse Tseng).

3. Lexical-Functional Grammar: interactions between morphology and syntax (Rachel Nordlinger Joan Bresnan).

4. Lexical-Functional Grammar: functional structure (Helge Lødrup).

5. Combinatory Categorial Grammar (Mark Steedman and Jason Baldridge).

6. Multi-Modal Type-Logical Grammar (Richard T Oehrle).

7. Alternative minimalist visions of language (Ray Jackendoff).

8. Feature-based grammar (James P. Blevins).

9. Lexicalism, periphrasis and implicative morphology (Farrell Ackerman, Gregory T Stump and Gert Webelhuth).

10. Performance-compatible competence grammar (Ivan A Sag and Thomas Wasow).

11. Modelling grammar growth: universal grammar without innate principles or parameters (Georgia M. Green).

12. Language Acquisition with feature-based grammars (Aline Villavicencio).

Index of Subjects.

Index of Languages.

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Robert Borsley is Professor of Linguistics in University of Essex. He has published widely in the field of syntactic theory and has made important contributions to the Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar framework.

Kersti Börjars is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Manchester. She has published within the areas of morphology, historical linguistics, and morpho-syntactic theory, in particular Lexical-Functional Grammar.

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“Notwithstanding the above desiderata, the book is very readable, and represents an excellent introduction to the major variants of non-transformational syntax. It is highly recommended as an essential source of reference for both working syntacticians and researchers in related (sub)fields.”  (The LINGUIST List, 30 May 2012)


"Essential reading for every syntactician. The theory reviews are compact and accessible, the in-depth analyses enlightening, and the overall perspective thoughtful, engaging and insightful."
- Peter Culicover, Ohio State University


"Understanding a linguistic article which uses HPSG, LFG or CG may be hard work, partly because of the notation, partly because the reasons behind the notation are not discussed. This book not only makes these theories more accessible to linguists but also shows that these formal and explicit models of grammar come closer to the goals of Chomsky's generative revolution than current transformational approaches."
- Elisabet Engdahl, University of Gothenburg

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