Optimality-Theoretic Syntax


Recent work in theoretical syntax has revealed the strong explanatory power of the notions of economy, competition, and optimization. Building grammars entirely upon these elements, Optimality Theory syntax provides a theory of universal grammar with a formally precise and strongly restricted theory of universal typology: cross-linguistic variation arises exclusively from the conflict among universal principles. Beginning with a general introduction to Optimality Theory syntax, this volume provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the art, as represented by the work of the leading developers of the theory. The broad range of topics treated includes morphosyntax (case, inflection, voice, and cliticization), the syntax of reference (control, anaphora, and pronominalization), the gammar of clauses (complementizers and their absence), and grammatical and discourse effects in word order. Among the theoretical themes running throughout are the interplay between faithfulness and markedness, and various questions of typology and of inventory.

Contributors: Peter Ackema, Judith Aissen, Eric Baković, Joan Bresnan, Hye-Won Choi, João Costa, Jane Grimshaw, Edward Keer, Géraldine Legendre, Gereon Müller, Ad Neeleman, Vieri Samek-Lodovici, Peter Sells, Margaret Speas, Sten Vikner, Colin Wilson, Ellen Woolford.

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Contributors
  3. Overview
  4. 1. An Introduction to Optimality Theory in Syntax

    Géraldine Legendre

  5. 2. Competition between Syntax and Morphology

    Peter Ackema and Ad Neeleman

  6. 3. Markedness and Subject Choice in Optimality Theory

    Judith Aissen

  7. 4. Optimality and Ineffability

    Eric Bakovic and Edward Keer

  8. 5. The Emergence of the Unmarked Pronoun

    Joan Bresnan

  9. 6. Binding and Discourse Prominence: Reconstruction in Focus Scrambling

    Hye-Won Choi

  10. 7. The Emergence of Unmarked Word Order

    Joao Costa

  11. 8. Optimal Clitic Positions and the Lexicon in Romance Clitic Systems

    Jane Grimshaw

  12. 9. Masked Second-Position Effects and the Linearization of Function Features

    Géraldine Legendre

  13. 10. Order Preservation, Parallel Movement, and the Emergence of the Unmarked

    Gereon Müller

  14. 11. Crosslinguistic Typologies in Optimality

    Vieri Samek-Lodovici

  15. 12. Form and Function in the Typology of Grammatical Voice Systems

    Peter Sells

  16. 13. Constraints on Null Pronouns

    Margaret Speas

  17. 14. V-to-I Movement and do-Insertion in Optimality Theory

    Sten Vikner

  18. 15. Bidirectional Optimization and the Theory of Anaphora

    Colin Wilson

  19. 16. Case Patterns

    Ellen Woolford

  20. Index