Alternative Directions for Minimalist Inquiry: Expanding and Contracting Phases of Derivation

This dissertation develops novel derivational mechanics for characterizing the syntactic component of human language — Tree Contraction Grammar (TCG). TCG falls within a general class of derivationally-oriented minimalist approaches, constituting a version of a Multiple Spell Out (MSO-)system (Chomsky 1999, Uriagereka 1999, 2002). TCG posits a derivational WORKSPACE restricting the size of structures that can be active at a given stage of derivation. As structures are expanded, workspace limitations periodically force contractions of the span of structure visible to operations. These expansion-contraction dynamics are shown to have implications for our understanding of locality of dependencies, specifically regarding successive cyclic movement…

Author: Drury, John Edward

Source: University of Maryland

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