Edited by Theresa Biberauer
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 132] 2008
► pp. 351–373
The macroparameter in a microparametric world
This paper considers the role of macroparameters in parametric theory. It
is argued that a system in which all syntactic variation is ascribed solely to
microparametric differences in the make-up of functional heads, as assumed
under the so-called Borer-Chomsky Conjecture, cannot account for actually
attested patterns of variation. In the word-order domain, for example, the facts
seem to point to the kind of bimodal distribution expected on a macroparametric
view, with microparameters accounting for the observed “noise”. A similar
scenario is also argued to obtain in the domain of agreement, once two newmacroparameters, presented here, are taken into account.
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