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A Concise Introduction to Syntactic Theory

The Government-Binding Approach

This textbook is intended to give students a quick start in using theory to address syntactic questions. At each stage, Cowper is careful to introduce a theoretical apparatus that is no more complex than is required to deal with the phenomenon under consideration. Comprehensive and up-to-date, this accessible volume will also provide an excellent refresher for linguists returning to the study of Government-Binding theory.

"Cowper exhibits the analytical devices of current principles-and-parameters approaches, takes readers carefully through the central elements of grammatical theory (including very recent work), and ushers them selectively into the technical literature. . . . A serious introduction for those who want to know the nuts and bolts of syntactic theory and to see why linguists are so excited these days."—David Lightfoot, University of Maryland

"An excellent short introduction to the Government and Binding model of syntactic theory. . . . Cowper’s work succeeds in teaching syntactic argumentation and in showing the conceptual reasons behind specific proposals in modern syntactic theory."—Jaklin Kornfilt, Syracuse University

213 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1992

Language and Linguistics: Syntax and Semantics

Table of Contents

1 The Theory in Context
2 Categories and Phrase Structure
3 Thematic Relations and Theta Roles
4 Predicting Phrase Structure
5 NP-Movement
6 Government and Case
7 WH-Movement
8 Move Alpha and the Theory of Movement
9 The Empty Category Principle
10 Interpretation of Nominals
11 Clauses and Categories
12 A Unified Approach to Locality Constraints


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