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Rethinking Comparative Syntax (ReCoS)

Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics

Studying at Cambridge

Rethinking Comparative Syntax

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Rethinking Comparative Syntax (ReCoS) is an ERC-funded research project that aims to reconceptualise the principles-and-parameters approach to comparative syntax, addressing the tension between descriptive and explanatory adequacy that is posed by the microparametric methods associated with the minimalist program. The central idea is to organise microparameters into hierarchies determined by general learning strategies, with the highest positions defining macroparameters and thus major typological properties. Furthermore, parameter-setting is proposed to start at the highest position in a hierarchy and works downwards, and so hierarchies additionally represent learning pathways.

In particular, the project examines the five putative hierachies of linearization, null arguments, word structure, discourse configurationality, and alignment.

More detail on the aims, goals, and methodology of the project can be found in the project proposal; this site also provides information on the people involved with the project, and the papers it has produced.


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