Asymmetry and the Language Faculty

Anna Maria Di Sciullo


In Syntactic Structures, Chomsky argues for the autonomy of syntax with respect to semantics on the one hand, and phonology on the other. In this paper, we argue that the autonomy of syntax is further supported by the derivation of sometime unpronounced functional categories. We propose an analysis of the pronunciation/silence of coordinate conjunction and prepositions in additive cardinal numerals and time counting expressions. We provide independent justifcations for our analysis as well as we identify extensions to recursive DP coordination and co-compounds. The analysis relies on structural asymmetries derived by the computational procedure of the Language Faculty and is enforced by principles of efcient computation.




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