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Principles and Parameters: An Introduction to Syntactic Theory (Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics) [Hardcover]

Peter W. Culicover
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1997 0198700156 978-0198700159 annotated edition
Principles and Parameters is a new textbook intended for the advanced undergraduate or postgraduate student of linguistics. In this readable and authoritative survey of the theory, incorporating much of Government and Binding (GB) theory, Peter Culicover summarizes the major proposals and results of Case theory, Theta theory, X'-theory, Binding theory, the theory of A- and A'- movement, locality conditions, and the theory of Logical Form (LF). He provides an up-to-date introduction to a number of more recent proposals, including Chomsky's Minimalist Program, Larsonian shells, and Kayne's Antisymmetry theory. A major concern and organizing principle of the book is to give the student an understanding of how specific methodological assumptions underlie the core analyses that have played a central role in the development of the theory. Each chapter is followed by an extensive set of exercises which lead the student from the point of applying the mechanics of the theory to developing and organizing new data, providing analyses, and exploring alternative hypotheses. There are also graded and annotated guides to further reading for each chapter, and, as a general aid to the student, a comprehensive glossary of terms. This book is intended for courses: Advanced Syntax; Government and Binding Theory; Principles and Parameters Theory Level: Final year undergraduate; postgraduate, supplementary for some second year undergraduate courses.

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Editorial Reviews


one of the better books that are available on the market. It differentiates itself with the richness in iys range of topics, its overall attitude, and its ability to skillfully summarize some key words in the literature...Culicover is especially very skillful in extracting the essence of each theory and introducing it in a straightforward and user-friendly way./Murat Kural/Glot International, Volume 3, Issue 4, April 1998. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Peter W. Culicover is at Ohio State University. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Textbooks in Linguistics
  • Hardcover: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; annotated edition edition (March 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198700156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198700159
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Critical Introduction to the GB Theory April 1, 2000
By Gu Gang
Since Chomsky established the GB model in the early 1980's, many introductory books have been published. Culicover's book came out by the end of the GB fashion when most people were attracted by Chomsky's new ideas of the minimalist program (MP). However, this book is not out of date at all, since Culicover illustrated the GB theory in a very critical way providing with quite a number of problems which cannot be solved at ease within the GB framework. All those problems are interesting issues that generative syntax has to manage. Though the author gave some suggestions, the issues remained open both to the GB framework and the MP followers. After reading this book, you may realize that the GB model is not as good as most people believe and that the burden of the MP will be heavier when it has to take over what left insolvable in the GB.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book review October 28, 2001
I have used this book, along with other similar sources, for writing a parametric grammar of Persian.The book is coherently organized into ten chapters: 1.Foundations Methods,Arguments,2.Government and Case, 3.Binding Theory,4.A-Movement,5.X'-Theory,6.A'-Movement,7.Barriers,8.LF Representation,9.Binding and Logical Form.10.Head Movement and Minimalism.Beginning with the second chapter the author picks up a syntactic problem and critically examines the solutions offered by linguists. For instance,in chapter four he concentrates on the analysis of the passive and its properties, namely, the movement of the underlying object into the surface subject position of the sentense in terms of a lexical analysis, a movement hypothesis and a chain relationship.Moreover, at the end of each chapter there are ample exercises from varius languages ( except Persian, of course) for readers / students to ponder over. Crucially,readers/students can familiarize themselves with current linguistic as well as syntactic issues and their proposed solutions. Nevertheless, the book suffers from a couple of drawbacks concerning the ultimate plausible solution for each problem and , more significantly, the definition of principles and parameters as a theoretical foundation / approach selected by the author,as the title suggests.I consider the latter a critical issue because there seems to be a fair degree of concensus among researchers concerning the principles which describe univerasl properties of grammatical operations or structures.However, differences of opinions arise regarding the parameters and the components of the language in which they have to be found. According to Chomsy, parameters are associated with the principles of Universal Grammar.Other linguists attribute them to the inflectional system of the language, the fuctional categories or lexical categories in general.From this book one cannot understand the author's position on the theory of parametrisation.
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