Comments on Wexler and Manzini

  • Ken Safir
Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 4)


The development of a parameterized theory of Universal Grammar is still a very young idea, and so some fundamental questions are still very close to the surface: What counts as a parametric theory? What should such a theory explain? Wexler and Manzini (henceforth, W&M) provide us with a new approach to these issues, one which is sure to engender much worthwhile research and discussion. In the commentary that follows, I limit my discussion to some of the contrasts and consequences that emerge when the W&M approach is compared to what has come to be the standard account of parameters.1


Lexical Item Lexical Entry Learning Module Subset Condition Universal Grammar 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. Borer, H.: 1984, Parametric Syntax, Foris Publications, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  2. Chao, W.: 1980, ‘PRO drop languages and non-obligatory control’, in W. Chao and D. Wheeler (eds.), University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers in Linguistics Vol. 7, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.Google Scholar
  3. Chomsky, N.: 1981, Lectures on Government and Binding, Foris Publications, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  4. Huang, J.: 1983, ‘A note on binding theory’ Linguistic Inquiry 14(3).Google Scholar
  5. Hyams, N.: 1983, The Acquisition of Parameterized Grammars, unpublished CUNY Ph.D. dissertation.Google Scholar
  6. Jakubowicz, C: 1984, ‘On markedness and binding principles’, in NELS 14.Google Scholar
  7. Safir, K.: 1985, Syntactic Chains, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York.Google Scholar
  8. Wexler, K. and R. Manzini (this volume) ‘Parameters and learnability in binding theory’.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ken Safir

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