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By John A. Hawkins

During this significant new e-book, John A. Hawkins offers a brand new idea of linear ordering in syntax. He argues that processing gives you an easy, practical reason behind syntactic ideas of ordering, in addition to for the choice between ordering versions in languages and constructions within which version is feasible. Insights from generative syntax, typological reports of language universals, and psycholinguistic experiences of language processing are mixed to teach that there's a profound correspondence among functionality and grammar.

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This is, I believe, what underlies and motivates the "head of phrase" generalization. It accounts for many correlated phenomena, such as the obligatory presence of certain daughters, and the constituent domains within which relations such as government and subcategorization can hold. This processing perspective on phrase structure also makes sense of facts that are not so readily handled by the head of phrase generalization, involving predicted alternations within and across languages between different daughter categories (not all of them heads) that can serve to construct higher nodes.

A yellow with age book c. 7) a. a very yellow book b. a book very yellow with age By standard assumptions (cf. g. Jackendoff 1977) the addition of an adverb to an adjective requires us to postulate the existence of a dominating adjective phrase, and hence adjectives in both pre- and postnominal position are dominated by AdjP. But if AdjP occurs before N in the NP, all lower dominated material should also be able to occur in this position, by virtue of a general structural principle: transitivity of domination.

The alternative is supported by the data of this book. It has the advantage that it will enable us to explain a lot of cross-language variation. Either there may be alternative structural variants that are equally optimal for processing; or there may be different degrees of structural complexity, to which grammars will respond in direct proportion to the degree of difficulty. e. they do not account for all languages, and not all sources of difficulty appear to have structural reflexes); or else that they make an unwarranted assumption of absolute unprocessability.

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