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Reading: A computational guide to the dichotomy of features and constraints

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A computational guide to the dichotomy of features and constraints

Author:

Thomas Graf

Department of Linguistics, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4376, US
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Abstract

A contentious issue in the Minimalist literature is whether certain phenomena are best described in terms of features or constraints. Building on recent work in mathematical linguistics, I argue that constraints and features are interchangeable in Minimalist syntax. This does not invalidate the feature-constraint debate, though. Rather, the interdefinability of the two points out an unexpected loophole in the formalism that allows for massive overgeneration and produces incorrect typological predictions. At the same time, the feature-constraint equivalence can be helpful in plugging this loophole.

This article is part of Special Collection: What drives syntactic computation?

How to Cite: Graf, T., (2017). A computational guide to the dichotomy of features and constraints. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics. 2(1), p.18. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.212
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Published on 09 Mar 2017.
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