How parameters arise
Linguistics in Amsterdam
Number of pages
Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
In this paper I argue that both parametric variation and the alleged differences between languages in terms of their internal
complexity straightforwardly follow from the Strongest Minimalist Thesis that takes the Faculty of Language (FL) to be an
optimal solution to conditions that neighboring mental modules impose on it. In this paper I argue that hard conditions like
legibility at the linguistic interfaces invoke simplicity metrices that, given that they stem from different mental modules,
are not harmonious. I argue that widely attested expression strategies, such as agreement or movement, are a direct result
of conflicting simplicity metrices, and that UG, perceived as a toolbox that shapes natural language, can be taken to consist
of a limited number of markings strategies, all resulting from conflicting simplicity metrices. As such, the contents of UG
follow from simplicity requirements, and therefore no longer necessitate linguistic principles, valued or unvalued, to be
innately present. Finally, I show that the SMT does not require that languages themselves have to be optimal in connecting
sound to meaning.
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let
the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible
and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
You will be contacted as soon as possible.