A Performance Theory of Order and Constituency by John A. Hawkins

By John A. Hawkins

During this significant new publication, John A. Hawkins offers a brand new concept of linear ordering in syntax. He argues that processing promises an easy, practical cause of syntactic ideas of ordering, in addition to for the choice between ordering versions in languages and constructions during which version is feasible. Insights from generative syntax, typological stories 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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Extra resources for A Performance Theory of Order and Constituency

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1 Structural Domains and their complexity Just as the concept of "structure" is fundamental to syntactic processes and representations (and also to semantics, cf. 4), so too it is fundamental to a theory of complexity. The basic intuition that underlies the metrics of syntactic complexity proposed in Miller and Chomsky (1963) and Frazier (1985) is that complexity involves the amount of structure in a tree diagram. I will argue against their particular formulations, but I believe that this intuition is fundamentally correct, and I will accordingly redefine it and extend it in this context.

For grammars we predict a close correlation between these kinds of performance data and the conventionalized grammatical rules of particular grammars. For example, the syntactic environments in which rules such as Relativization or WH-movement "cutoff in a given language should be in accordance with the complexity of these environments, cf. 3. Consider some performance data involving relativization in English. 14) to be embedded as relative clause modifiers of a head noun. 15) Relativization Domain A Relativization Domain consists of that subset of nodes within an NP immediately dominating an S and a head noun that structurally integrate the empty category or pronoun that is co-indexed with the head and in its original (d-structure) position.

Two nodes A and B will be considered to be structurally related if one dominates the other, if they are sisters, or if one is a sister of some third node that dominates the other. An SD consists of a set of these structurally related nodes dominated by a given constituent C, possibly (indeed quite regularly) a proper subset of the total number of nodes that C dominates within a given sentence. This subset will be grammatically significant if it constitutes the domain over which a grammatical operation or principle is defined.

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