8

Cree syllabics seems to the be simplest by any count. The letters ᐊ ᐸ ᑕ ᑲ ᒐ ᒪ ᓇ ᓴ ᔭ represent the consonants Ø p t k ch m n s y (this is the "a" form), and vowels are indicated by the orientation of the basic shape, so ᐸ ᐯ ᐱ ᐳ is respectively [pa pe pi po]. The rule for orientation is not entirely trivial: it involves flipping or rotation, so ...


7

I think that even the most ardent supporter of minimalism should recognize that this is an important and deep question: indeed, even though Patrick Elliott is right to recall that the hypothesis of strict binary branching could be made on the basis of parsimony only, it is clearly the case that many syntactic structures appear to be ternary (or more) and so ...


7

There seems to be at least two quite distinct questions there: what is minimalist about the minimalist program? and Is there a sensible reason for the existence of the lumbering structures it deals with? P.Elliott and curiousdannii already provided general and historic answers to the first question, but I wish to supplement their answers with a more specific ...


7

The first thing to point out is that the Minimalist Program is a Program not a theory (the clue is in the name), following the distinction made by Lakatos. It can be thought of as an injunction to minimise the contents of UG, i.e. to minimise the the amount of linguistic-specific information we invoke in explaining natural language. The copy theory of ...


5

This will be controversial, but it might help you understand its appeal. My take is that Chomskyan transformational grammar in its various incarnations is now at a stage of development similar to medieval scholasticism or late Ptolemaic astronomy. It's still the dominant paradigm for historical reasons (in this case, the Chomskyan revolution of the '50s and ...


5

First, let me get the usual caveats out of the way: MP is a program, not a theory. It tells you what kinds of questions to ask about syntax, and guides you in comparing the answers from competing theories. And so on. But in practice, what you're learning is the theoretical framework that everyone in MP uses. You may later learn why they think MP leads to ...


4

Isn't there a contradiction between 'feature-checking' and 'no tampering'? Yes, there is, for the reasons you outlined. I do not know whether 'no tampering' remains an important principle of current minimalist syntax. The no-tampering conditions does remain a very important part of minimalist syntax. I would like to know how that difficulty (if it is ...


3

I don't suppose it's meaningful that parece does not assume 3rd person plural form (parecen) when there are two or more clauses following it? For example, Parece que va a escampar y que los vientos se detienen. Compare this to Un hombre y una mujer se sentaron en la banca.


3

Not precisely (for the order implications see Kayne 1994 - The antisymmetry of syntax - but note that the work is not uniformly accepted within Minimalism). Merge is asymmetrical because one of the merged constituents (commonly called head though the term can be misleading) projects all its features to the resulting constituent - hence "David's brothers" is ...


3

You're asking a number of different questions here, that range from simple description of surface features to theory-internal ideas from specific frameworks (and asking about two different frameworks), so I think you may want more of an overview rather than direct answers to your specific question. If you don't want to read a textbook, the Wikipedia ...


3

TL;DR: In the Government and Binding framework, D-structure had to be built completely before any movement could occur, while in Minimalism movement occurs as the structure is being built, eliminating the need for a D-structure. In GB syntactic representations are built in two stages: 1) D-structure is generated according to the rules of X-bar syntax, 2) ...


2

The mechanism of Agree(ment) has been redefined since Chomsky 1995. Since Chomsky 2000, 2001, it does not rely on Spec-Head agreement anymore. Regarding the relation between the subject and V, if suggest to have a look at Pesetsky & Torrego 2007, who give important references and develop a slightly different, but influential departure from Chomsky's 2000,...


2

The question relates to Chomsky's competence/performance distinction, which can be a little difficult to grasp. (see the discussion in Aspects of the theory of syntax). Your question seems to presuppose that MP relates to performance, i.e. actual language use. Minimalism is not intended to be an account of the generator/parser, but rather it is intended to ...


2

The Minimalist Program has to be compared to previous models in the generative approach to Grammar. Government and Binding was an earlier theory developed by Chomsky which had several sub-theories such as Case Theory for assigning cases to nominals, Binding Theory to deal with anaphors, Control Theory to deal with implied nominals, Bounding Theory to deal ...


2

There is empirical evidence against DS, though it has nothing to do with MP. DS is required for transformationalist theories to move things around so as to get constituents where they are observed to be in surface structures. We need to describe movement, to describe the relationship between active-passive pairs of structures, for instance, among the many ...


2

Most versions of minimalism assume linearization constraints that are independent of the structure building operation. This becomes obvious when you see that different languages have different V S O orders. Linearization is usually taken to be a more language specific thing.


2

Because there is structural asymmetry of some sort in the resulting structure. I don't think you ever get to linearize just the {V, DP}. Instead, be it phase-size or complete CP structure, the linearization is sensitive to the resulting hierarchical structure. There's a few accounts, probably the most abstract (and famous) being Richie Kayne's Antisymmetry (...


2

In addition to Olivier's answer, there is further evidence for binary branching structure. For example, there's about as theory-neutral evidence as you can get for binary branching in the NP domain. Consider (1). (1) a. That big brown fury dog b. That big brown fury one c. That big brown one d. That big one e. That one If the NP ...


2

No. Not in the Turkish that is spoken in Istanbul. The evidence comes from scope relations when the subject is not dropped. When you say: Bütün çocuk-lar gel-me-di. all kid-pl come-neg-pst All the kids did not come. In English, the sentence is ambiguous. It can be either NOT ALL the students came (NOT > ALL) or No students came (ALL > NOT). ...


2

I'm not sure I fully understand the question, but maybe Burzio's generalization is relevant? There is argued to be a "weak" v, which appears in unaccusatives and passives, and a "strong" v, which appears in transitives and unergatives. Only "strong" v can assign accusative case; "weak" v can't. The idea would then be that in passives, for example, because ...


1

EPP entails that [Spec; TP] must be filled. However, the subject can move out from [Spec; TP] to an adjunct position, leaving a trace at [Spec; TP]. An example of such a movement is topicalization, which is an A'-movement and follows many properties of wh-movement.


1

The short, oversimplified answer is that Berber languages merge their "oblique" and "nominative" in much the same way that English merges its "oblique" and "accusative". Plenty of other languages do something similar, like most of the Northwest Caucasian languages. There's nothing magical about oblique and accusative that forces them to be merged when coming ...


1

Merge does not directly produce surface utterances. Fixing linear order can be treated as phonological (a terrible misinterpretation of phonology in my opinion), and there is also Move.


1

There have been several syntactic theories based on unordered constituents, among them Relational Grammar (with Arc Pair Grammar) and GPSG. The idea is that tree sisters are fundamentally without any intrinsic order, but that eventually, at a superficial level, for certain languages and certain constituents, the order gets fixed. I think that Gerald ...


1

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 ...


1

I sketched out a conservative approach to the interface among syntax, morphology, and phonology in another answer here, which depends essentially on parallel processing and does not distinguish in principle between syntactic, morphological, and phonological rules. I know it doesn't answer the question you asked, but it's related.


1

They are not the same. 1. v* (with this label) corresponds to a verb projection with a full argument structure or what is called a Core Functional Category (CFC) with transitivity. This v*P is the small or light vP that can enter into a checking relation of Case/Agreement. Its head, along with C and T, constitutes the set of CFC. Also this head is always ...


1

Well, compare TG ( Transformational Grammar) and GPSG (Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar). TG allows the formulation of rules that perform long distance movement, using the variables of a transformation to stand for arbitrarily long strings of parts of a "proper analysis". For your example, a variable X of the WH movement transformation represents "John ...


1

There are quite a few options. I'd recommend either LFG or a parser for Universal Dependencies. Syntactic dependencies (and null arguments) can be directly extracted from both of them.


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