The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling-Lunch 3/8 - Cristiano Chesi

Speaker: Cristiano Chesi (NETS ‐ IUSS Pavia, CISCL ‐ University of Siena)
Title: Top‐Down, Left‐Right Derivations
Date/Time: Thursday, Mar 8, 12:30-1:45p
Location: 32-D461

The full abstract is available here (PDF).

The goal of this talk is to provide empirical arguments in favor of a derivational view of the grammar in which structure building occurs, incrementally, top-down (Chesi 2004a, 2007) and from left to right (Phillips 1996, 2003).

Following the Minimalist research spirit (Chomsky 1995-2008), I will show that the bottom-to-top orientation of phrase structure building is not a “virtual conceptual necessity” and that we can gain in descriptive adequacy if we drift away from the idea that the basic recursive operation is a set formation operation like Merge.