Chapter 1Introduction: Structuring thought, externalizing structure
Variation and universals
The articles collected in this volume bear witness to the important role played by studies on language variation, specifically on Romance microvariation, in the development of formal approaches to language. Leonardo M. Savoia is a central figure in this endeavor, in the twin fields of phonology and morphosyntax. In this introductory chapter, I will briefly put research into (micro)variation in Romance and other language families in the context of the recent theoretical debate in generative grammar. Despite Savoia’s unrivalled expertise in field work and the prodigious number of data we owe to him, especially on Italian and Albanian varieties, it is only within a theoretical setting that his work is truly appreciated. I will conclude each section by illustrating how the themes explored therein resonate in the several contributions to the volume.
- 1.Is phonology different?
- 2.The unification of morphology and syntax
- 3.Syntactic parameters: Microvariation and macrocategories
- 4.Language and its speakers
Leonardo M. Savoia complete bibliography 1974–2017