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Constraints on Structure and Derivation in Syntax, Phonology and Morphology


Edited By Anna Bloch-Rozmej and Anna Bondaruk

The papers collected in this volume explore the major mechanisms, that is derivations and constraints, claimed to be responsible for various aspects of the linguistic systems, their syntax, phonology and morphology. The contributors approach these issues through a detailed analysis of selected phenomena of Modern English, Old English, Polish, Russian, Hungarian and Icelandic, offering novel theoretical and descriptive insights into the working of human language.

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The present volume is a collection of twelve papers centred around the notion of constraints. The works gathered here address, in particular, the problem of constraints imposed on structure and derivation in syntax, phonology and morphology.

Constraints have played a significant role in syntactic theorising ever since the seminal work by Ross (1967). Although widely adopted and recognised, constraints have not been extensively studied in the literature, with a few exceptions, including Müller and Sternefeld (2000) and Graf (2013). In the literature two highly disputed issues regarding constraints concern the relation between constraints and operations, and the explanatory power of constraints. Recently in the Minimalist Program the question whether constraints are superior to operations or the other way round has been addressed by two rival camps – derivationalists (Epstein et al. 1998; Epstein and Seely 2002; 2006) and representationalists (Brody 1995; 2000; 2002). The former argue for the supremacy of operations over constraints, whereas the latter make representations the focal point of the theory and impose constraints on their shapes. Besides the Minimalist Program, constraints have figured prominently in Head Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Lexical Functional Grammar and the Optimality Theory (Graf 2013).

The typology of constraints proposed by Müller and Sternefeld (2000) is based on five types of constraints, namely: representational, derivational, global, translocal, and transderivational. Representational constraints apply to single phrase structures, locally bounded or unbounded, whereas derivational constraints affect locally bounded derivations. Global constraints operate in unbounded syntactic derivations. Translocal...

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