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Simpler Syntax$
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Peter W. Culicover and Ray Jackendoff

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199271092

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199271092.001.0001

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Flat Structure

Flat Structure

(p.107) CHAPTER 4 Flat Structure
Simpler Syntax

Peter W. Culicover (Contributor Webpage)

Ray Jackendoff (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Simpler Syntax Hypothesis (SSH) states that syntactic structure should constitute the necessary minimum for mapping between phonological and semantic structure. Syntactic structure has always been seen as the basis for semantic interpretation. However, at several points in the history of MGG, this position has mutated into the stronger position that there is a covert syntactic structure that is virtually equivalent to semantic interpretation. This chapter adopts the simpler syntax hypothesis (SSH) and investigates whether the resulting theory has less overall complexity in syntax and the syntax-semantics interface combined. It is argued that the appropriate complexity for syntax is relatively flat: headed phrases that are linearly ordered and that correspond to constituents in Conceptual Structure, but not more.

Keywords:   simpler syntax hypothesis, syntactic structure, syntax-semantics, binary branching, left-branching, English phase structure

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