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Culicover, Peter W.: Simpler Syntax and Explanation

Simpler Syntax is an approach to grammar that calls for very restrictive limits on the notion of 'grammatical competence'. Specifically, it does not account for unacceptability judgments for sentences that are well-formed if they are fully licensed by the constructions of the language. SS leads us to seek accounts for such judgments in terms other than grammar per se, e.g., processing complexity, semantic or pragmatic well-formedness, discourse coherence, etc. I review several examples that suggest that the line that SS draws between competence on the one hand and performance and other mechanisms on the other is on the right track. Specifically, it does not account for unacceptability judgments for sentences that are well-formed if they are fully licensed by the constructions of the language. SS leads us to seek accounts for such judgments in terms other than grammar per se, e.g., processing complexity, semantic or pragmatic well-formedness, discourse coherence, etc. I review several examples that suggest that the line that SS draws between competence on the one hand and performance and other mechanisms on the other is on the right track.


Maintained by Stefan Müller

Created: September 18, 2013
Last modified: January 09, 2019

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