I'm interested in having a few references to (more of less) full grammars of natural languages that would be written under Minimalist approach. Are there any around?

I guess, accounts of some major specific phenomena would be good, too, as long as they encompass large chunks of grammar (like word order in Russian -- by Slioussar or by Dyakonova -- which cuts across much syntax).

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    I think it would help if you gave an example of full grammars (but within some generative framework), regardless of framework, so that we can see what what ballpark a "full grammar" is in. The syntactian inside me says that I've never seen one.
    – user6726
    Apr 15, 2015 at 15:44
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    There's a full grammar within a generative framework, but not in Minimalspeak: McCawley 1998. McCawley's constituency analysis makes full use of semantic, relational, and pragmatic methods to present what the title describes: the syntactic phenomena of English. One can of course translate this into Minimalism, GB, REST, or any of the other notationally and presuppositionally distinct MITish theories, simply by accounting for all the phenomena described there (and any others one likes, for lagniappe) in those theories. One wonders why there are so few contenders. Apr 15, 2015 at 18:56
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    I think it would be difficult to find good examples of what you are looking for. Minimalist syntax a it is presented a numerous textbooks sometimes sort of works for English (at other times, it does not work at all), but that's about it. The more flexible the word order, the greater the problems are for theories of syntax that assume all syntactic structure to be binary branching. Apr 16, 2015 at 5:32

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The Syntax of French by P.Rowlett (see here) would be a canonical answer for French.

That said, I think it is worth pointing out that the project of writing a full grammar of a given language (identified presumably with the official language of some nation-state) or even of devising a complete account of some syntactic phenomenon peculiar to a certain language (say object agreement in French) is at least somewhat at cross-purpose with the minimalist entreprise in syntax, as the latter is interested in the syntactic phenomena that stem from the core human faculty of language and its interaction with interface properties and thus has almost by definition nothing to say about the former's apparent object of interest.

Much more congenial to the minimalist framework is the project of writing a complete account of a cross-linguistically attested syntactic phenomenon (binding of pronouns, wh-movement, agreement, raising, DP-licensing, voice alternations, noun incorporation etc.) or even better of the correlations between those in the terms outline above. Of that variety of work, you'll find no shortage; the one you are apparently interested in, not so much.

  • Yes, I take your point about the questions driving minimalism. An excellent answer, thank you! Apr 16, 2015 at 23:22

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