Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Grammar construction in the minimalist program
by Herring, Joshua, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2016, 241; 10251430
Abstract (Summary)

The Minimalist Program is in principle nothing more than a set of guidelines for cognitive syntactic research. Because of its historical pedigree and foundational assumptions, in practice it functions and is perceived as something closer to a formal theoretical framework. This opens the door to implementational possibilities. Though it is not possible to strictly delineate `"minimalist'" and `"non-minimalist'" linguistic theories by choice of theoretical device alone, it is possible to identify, and make concrete, shared theoretical assumptions and formal devices that minimalist theories draw from. This project surveys the recent minimalist literature and catalogs the most important such devices, unifying them where possible, to build a set of implementational primitives capable of accurately representing a large section of recent proposals in Minimalism. The utility of this approach is demonstrated through the development of a grammar development software toolkit for the Minimalist Program which makes these primitives available to researchers. By implementing theories in this system, it is possible to validate their empirical claims and adjudicate disputes over empirical coverage between competing theories. Sample implementations relevant to the ongoing dispute over the Movement Theory of Control are given.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dickinson, Markus
Commitee: Franks, Steven L., Grano, Thomas, Moss, Lawrence S.
School: Indiana University
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics
Keywords: Generative grammar, Grammar, Minimalism, Minimalist program, Syntax, Toolkit
Publication Number: 10251430
ISBN: 978-1-369-48397-0
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