A paper by Jae-Young Shim has just appeared in Studies in Generative Grammar. This paper is typical example of the high level of theoretical syntax research being conducted at Michigan by both our students and faculty. Jae-Young tackles some of the fundamental tenets of the Minimalist Program in this paper, showing that these tenets apply more generally and broadly than what has been assumed previously. The full bibliographic information of this paper, together with an abstract, is given below.


Shim, Jae-Young. (2014) Phase Head-initiated Structure Building.  Studies in Generative Grammar 24(2), 455-474.

This paper explores an alternative way of structure building in minimalism and proposes that along with other operations in Narrow Syntax such as Feature-Inheritance and Transfer, structure building is also initiated only by phase heads. Consequently, this paper takes one step further Chomsky’s (2007, 2008, 2013) generalization that all operations in Narrow Syntax are restricted to the phase level. It further investigates the implications of phase-head initiated structure building for the motivations for Feature-Inheritance and Transfer (Chomsky 2007, 2008, Richards 2007) and shows 1) that no derivation can converge at the C-I interface without Feature-Inheritance (i.e., Feature-Inheritance is necessitated to satisfy interface conditions) and 2) that the operation Transfer is a natural by-product of (Internal) Merge.