Article published in:Towards a Derivational Syntax: Survive-minimalism
Edited by Michael T. Putnam
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 144] 2009
► pp. 169–192
Using the Survive principle for deriving coordinate (a)symmetries
This analysis examines the symmetries of coordinate structures, specifically how they can be generated in a minimalist, crash-proof grammar. I show that a phase-based model with selection of lexical items (LIs) before merge must have a matching operation across conjuncts, but this operation is prohibited by this model’s own constraints. An alternative is presented that uses the Survive principle by which LIs are selected as needed for the merge operations of a coordinate structure. This selection process is guided and assisted by algorithms that map certain features from a leading conjunct to the next conjunct undergoing concatenation. With selection on demand and the mapping of features, coordinate symmetries can be generated that otherwise require global operations spanning all the conjuncts such as across-the-board movement. Additionally, the asymmetries that occur in coordinate structures are accounted for as consequences of additional mergers that do not require coordinate matching across conjuncts. Issues related to the limits of working memory can also be addressed.
Published online: 29 July 2009