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The Syntax and Semantics of the Nominal Construction

A Radically Minimalist Perspective


Diego Gabriel Krivochen

This book proposes a novel analysis of Nominal Construction from the syntax-semantics interface. It is based on the newly developed framework of Radical Minimalism, and provides both a concise introduction to this formal model and the application of the theory to real examples provided by native speakers. The theory, which makes use of mathematics, cognitive science, and physics combined with formal syntax, is explained in detail before entering the domain of the nominal construction where straightforward, clear analyses are provided for multiple interlinguistic phenomena. Even though mainly theoretical, the book has a strong empirical basis and enables the reader to continue the quest by applying the framework to phenomena of his interest.


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Chapter 1: An Introduction to Radical Minimalism


0 Introduction The objective of this chapter is to present the theoretical framework with which we will analyze Nominal Constructions (hereafter, NC) in chapters 2 and 3. We will present the general features of Radical Minimalism, trying to characterize it so that the differences with alternative approaches are stated as clear as possible. However, being an overview, not all issues will be analyzed with equal depth. Should the reader want to pursue an in- quiry along these lines, we strongly suggest look at the bibliography, where other works, dealing with more specific matters within this frame- work are cited. 1 Radical Minimalism and the Natural World1 Radical Minimalism is a program of scientific investigation that was born as a reaction to the direction that mainstream Generative syntax took from approximately 2000 to this day. The development of the so-called “Minimalist Program” took a strange twist after the dawn of the new Mil- lennium: the desire to apply Occam’s Razor was still very much present in the introductory section of most works but, strangely enough, a curious series of stipulations and ad hoc assumptions followed the simplicity desi- derata. In this respect, we share the opinion of Jan Koster, when he claims (Koster, 2010): “What follows is born out of dissatisfaction with current Minimalism, the re- ceived linguistic paradigm since Chomsky 1995. My concerns are not about Minimalism as a program. On the contrary, I subscribe to the overall goal to construct a theory that makes grammar look as perfect as...

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