I'm looking for a formal, mathematically-minded introduction to contemporary generative grammar theory, where all the concepts, such as dominance, c-command, government, etc. are defined formally in mathematical terms.

An example for the kind of text I'm interested in is this set of notes.

This set of notes is great; however, I am looking for other texts, ideally at least two more, so that if one of them has an error or inconsistency, I can consult the others for a clarification.

For example, the concept of dominance as defined in the above set of notes (on p. 45) is irreflexive, i.e. a node doesn't dominate itself, but then later, in defining c-command (immediately following definition 6.50 on p. 521), it makes a distinction between proper and unqualified dominance. This is an inconsistency.

This was just one example; there are others, hence the quest for other texts.

It is crucial that the approach be mathematically-oriented, since it has been my experience with non-mathematical textbooks on generative grammar that they are simply not sufficiently precise.

For instance, when defining the concept of dominance most don't even address the question of whether they consider this relation to be reflexive or not, and the one reference that I found – let's call it UPENN – that did address this question, defines it as reflexive, in contradiction to the way this term is used elsewhere. Consequently, UPENN's definition of such concepts as c-command is different to those found elsewhere, for instance it is implied by UPENN's definition that a node doesn't c-command itself.

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    The notion that mathematical stringency is a good way to teach syntax and grammar is debatable. My experience has been that the formalist who defines things precisely in mathematical terms makes the study of syntax and grammar inaccessible to the vast majority of students. Formalism are best used sparingly, and when they are used, they should be surrounded by normal language descriptions and numerous examples for illustration. Jun 10, 2020 at 10:35
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    @TimOsborne: You seem to imply that a text that takes a formal approach is intrinsically one that lacks examples and informal motivation and discussion. This attitude has no basis. I would say the opposite. While a text that takes a formal approach can succeed or fail in the area of pedagogy, one that avoids formality is inherently pedagogically lacking. At any rate, what you think about formalism is irrelevant for the purposes of this question, which isn't meant to elicit a discussion about the merits of formalism in linguistics, but simply to ask for pointers to the literature.
    – Evan Aad
    Jun 10, 2020 at 10:53
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    My comment is questioning the validity of the approach to teaching syntax and grammar suggested in your question, and it is pointing to a very interesting and related question about how valuable formalisms are in linguistics. Note as well that this is the comment section, not the answer section. Concerning the actual content of your question, I own many of the textbooks on syntax and grammar that have come out in the past four decades. The ones that profess to do formal syntax are the ones that I reach to least often. They are not accessible. Jun 10, 2020 at 11:16
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    have you looked at Collins & Stabler's paper 'A formalization of minimalist syntax'? it's not a textbook and certainly isn't meant as an introduction, but i found it useful in getting a deeper understanding on concepts usually discussed only informally. Jun 10, 2020 at 12:22
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    As far as I can tell, there is no work that is simultaneously mathematically explicit in the sense that you desire and sufficiently representative of the concepts of current Minimalism. The reason is that the underlying linguistic concepts are themselves not clearly enough resolved that mathematical modeling would be appropriate.
    – user6726
    Jun 10, 2020 at 17:48


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