Syntactic architecture and its consequences I: Syntax inside the grammar

András Bárány   Theresa Biberauer   Jamie Douglas   Sten Vikner  


This volume collects novel contributions to comparative generative linguistics that “rethink” existing approaches to an extensive range of phenomena, domains, and architectural questions in linguistic theory. At the heart of the contributions is the tension between descriptive and explanatory adequacy which has long animated generative linguistics and which continues to grow thanks to the increasing amount and diversity of data available to us.

The chapters address research questions on the relation of syntax to other aspects of grammar and linguistics more generally, including studies on language acquisition, variation and change, and syntactic interfaces. Many of these contributions show the influence of research by Ian Roberts and collaborators and give the reader a sense of the lively nature of current discussion of topics in synchronic and diachronic comparative syntax ranging from the core verbal domain to higher, propositional domains.

This book is complemented by volume II available at and volume III available at


  • Drift, finite populations, and language change
    Robin Clark
  • Rethinking complexity
    Susana Bejar, Diane Massam, Ana-Teresa Pérez-Leroux, Yves Roberge
  • From macroparameters to microparameters
    A Bantu case study
    Jenneke van der Wal
  • Comparative syntax
    An HPSG perspective
    Robert D. Borsley
  • Some (new) thoughts on grammaticalization
    Anna Roussou
  • Little words – big consequences
    Lisa Travis
  • Heads and history
    Nigel Vincent, Kersti Börjars
  • Micro- and nano-change in the verbal syntax of English
    Eric Haeberli, Tabea Ihsane
  • “Them’s the men that does their work best”
    The Northern Subject Rule revisited
    Eric Fuß, Carola Trips
  • All those years ago
    Preposition stranding in Old English
    Ans van Kemenade
  • From macro to nano
    A Parametric Hierarchy Approach to the diatopic and diachronic variation of Italian ‘ben’
    Norma Schifano, Federica Cognola
  • In Search of prosodic domains in Lusoga
    Larry M. Hyman
  • Apparent violations of the final-over-final constraint
    The case of Gbe languages
    Enoch O. Aboh
  • Revisiting the lack of verbal wh-words
    Aritz Irurtzun
  • Past/passive participles and locality of attachment
    Alison Biggs
  • Functional items, lexical information, and telicity
    A Parameter Hierarchy-based approach to the Telicity Parameter
    Xuhui Hu
  • Categorizing verb-internal modifiers
    Chenchen Song
  • Rethinking Split Intransitivity
    James Baker
  • The verbal passive: No unique phrasal idioms
    Julie Fadlon, Julia Horvath, Tal Siloni, Ken Wexler
  • Rethinking the syntax of nominal predication
    David Adger
  • Rethinking Principles A and B from a Free Merge perspective
    Marc Richards
  • Beyond one, two, three
    Number matters in classifier languages
    Cherry Chit-Yu Lam



András Bárány

András Bárány is a post-doctoral researcher at Leiden University. He has previously worked at SOAS University of London and at the Linguistic Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His research deals with the cross-linguistic variation in morphosyntax and its limits, in particular in the domains of possession and the interaction of case and agreement. His work includes Person, case, and agreement (OUP, 2017) and articles in Glossa, Linguistic Inquiry and Studies in Language.

Theresa Biberauer

Theresa Biberauer is a Principal Research Associate in the Computer Science Department at the University of Cambridge, and also holds extraordinary professorships at Stellenbosch University and the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. Her research interests lie in synchronic and diachronic comparative syntax, Germanic linguistics, language acquisition and learnability, and language contact. Her major publications include Parametric Variation (CUP, 2010), The Final-over-Final Condition (MIT Press, 2017), and articles in Linguistic Inquiry, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Theoretical Linguistics, Journal of Semantics, and English Language and Linguistics.

Jamie Douglas

Jamie Douglas is a former research associate at the University of Cambridge. His PhD focused on the syntax of relative clauses, and his interests include syntactic theory, long-distance dependencies, linguistic typology and the evolution of language. His work has been published in Glossa and English Language and Linguistics.

Sten Vikner

Sten Vikner is professor in English linguistics at Aarhus University in Denmark. He also works on Danish, German and the other Germanic languages, mainly on syntax but also on morphology and semantics. The topics include verb positions, object shift, the left edge of the clause, and reflexives. His work has appeared in e.g. the Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics, Language, The Linguistic Review, Studia Linguistica, as well as in The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Syntax and The Cambridge Handbook of Germanic Linguistics.

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September 9, 2020
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Bárány, András, Biberauer, Theresa, Douglas, Jamie & Vikner, Sten (eds.). 2020. Syntactic architecture and its consequences I: Syntax inside the grammar. (Open Generative Syntax 9). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4041229


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