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Core Syntax: A Minimalist Approach (Core Linguistics) Paperback – August 28, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0199243709 ISBN-10: 0199243700

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Product Details

  • Series: Core Linguistics
  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199243700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199243709
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 0.9 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Adger truly manages to achieve a good balance between a formal theoretical model and its empirical coverage. Each chapter includes excellent problem sets and a list of further readings... The author takes a lot of time to illustrate each derivation step by step, thus helping students to see the workings of a formal syntactic system. Another very positive characteristic is the approach to crosslinguistic variation, which is given consistently in terms of features. ... I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants a text that presents minimalist syntax in a clear way and with data from a vast array of languages."--Language


About the Author


David Adger is Reader in Linguistics at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the co-editor of Specifiers: Minimalist Perspective (OUP, 1999) and publishes widely in syntax and semantics. He is co-general editor of the series Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics.

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Customer Reviews

He could just explain things simply, move on and get to other points when it's the right time.
Mostafa
People who have few or who don't have background in Linguistics will definately get confused with minimalist program or even Syntax if using this book.
Craig Chen
The contents are not only difficult to understand but also are written without any organization.
linguist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Longhaired Goddess on September 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
We used this book as a text for a 400 level undergraduate advanced syntax course this summer (2004). Part of the purpose of the course was to evaluate the suitability of this book as a text (and minimalism as content material) for linguistics majors taking a 200 level syntax class in the future.

The book is highly technical, as is any serious linguistics text. According to the description, it is designed for readers with no linguistics background, but we were unable to imagine it being used as a text for any class beneath the level of ours. It probably would be more appropriate for use in a graduate seminar. There is no way it could be used for freshman with no linguistics background, and at the 300 level, English majors would be hung out to dry.

Issues? Lots of them made the book's arguments and logic hard to grasp. You're following with difficulty, reading and rereading as a concept is developed, and suddenly you realize one of the definitions you were given at the beginning has been completely changed, with no indication or explanation.

The book was full of obscure examples, which raised more questions than it answered at times, because common examples don't fit in the paradigm.

Examples of tree structure were very limited, showing only fragments of trees, which made the exercises at the end of the chapter extraordinarily difficult and time-consuming.

The last chapter seemed to be written as an afterthought. I think if the author had reread his examples, he would have seen that the verbs he had used as examples in his comparison were in no way functionally equivalent, although he seemed to be under the impression they were.

Proofreading would have been helpful, as there were lots of typos, some of which changed the meaning of the text or examples.

Some of us ended up wondering the extent to which the problems were with the book, and the extent to which they were with minimalism itself.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Richard Whitt on October 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
The other reviewer is absolutely right--this text is NOT an entry-level text, even though it claims to be. I have an M.A. in linguistics and am currently working on a Ph.D., and I have some background in syntax, and I find this text quite difficult to follow. Some examples Adger lists as ungrammatical are grammatical, and vice versa. Adger seems to sometimes make claims without adequate explanation to the reader (e.g., he lists Adjective as [+Verb, -Noun]), which is disturbing because this is supposedly an introductory text. If you want an introduction to Minimalism, don't look here. If you're already a specialist in the field, this may be a good addition to you're collection (but you should be the judge of that--check it out from the library first).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mostafa on September 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm taking an introductory syntax course and using this book. The book is too wordy and at the same time overuses abstract concepts that are just introduced mostly without examples which could have made the text understandable. The author refers you to different chapters from the very beginning to understand each concept making you feel overwhelmed. He could just explain things simply, move on and get to other points when it's the right time. The concepts are easily understandable when a teacher explains them to me but this book just makes me feel I'm stupid. I have never found a book this difficult and don't really know why my teacher asked us to purchase this for an introductory course in syntax.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jamie_W on January 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
We used this book in my final year undergrad class and I loved it. It's true that there are some annoying typos, but actually fewer than I found in other similar books, like Carnie's. What I really liked was the methodical, step by step, explanations, and far from being terribley (sic) written, I thought the writing was clear and easy to follow (although the subject matter was, it''s true, really hard). I think that this isn't an introductory text, so the blurb on the back which says it is isn't right, but as an introduction to the Minimalist theory, at advanced undergrad level or higher, it's very good.
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By Mona on April 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very valuable. Reading this book will prepare you to real syntax arguments. I do recommend this book for anyone who is interested in theoretical syntax.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those who need or want a strong introduction to minimalist syntax, this is an essential book. Simply a must.
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