The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Colloquium 10/1 - Dan Milway

Speaker: Dan Milway
Title: Parallel Derivation: Adjunction and Coordination
Time: Friday, October 1st, 3:30pm – 5pm

Abstract: I argue that apparently singular expressions containing adjuncts or coordinate structures consist, in reality, of multiple independent syntactic objects, but that generative syntactic theory has consistently ruled out such an analysis by tacitly assuming that all derivations must be serial. I develop a theory of MERGE-based syntax (Chomsky 2020) which allows for semi-independent derivations to occur in parallel, and show that this theory yields solutions to or insights into various puzzles associated with adjuncts. I then apply this theory to coordination structures and discuss its implications for semantic theory with particular emphasis what I refer to as “reference to computation”.