Towards a theory of syntactic workspaces: neighbourhoods and distances in a lexicalised grammar
Diego Krivochen
June 2021

Syntactic operations in generative grammar often require to keep syntactic objects active for a number of derivational steps (Copy, Agree, Move); however, only recently has the importance of formalising where those syntactic objects are kept active received some attention. Contemporary generative theory (e.g., Chomsky, 2019, 2020) has somewhat acknowledged that syntactic operations must apply somewhere, particularly when copying and movement operations are considered: recent work on structure building and mapping (MERGE) makes explicit reference to workspaces. However, it is still a vastly underexplored area. In this paper we explore the concept of workspace and its role in current generative theory, aiming at a precise characterisation of what workspaces are and how their properties determine possible syntactic configurations using tools from topology and graph theory. We analyse the consequences of conceptualising ‘syntax’ as a set of operations that affect local regions of spaces.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005689
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Deeply revised version of 'Workspaces in Syntax'. Ms. Comments solicited
keywords: workspace, lexicalised grammar, copy, topological space, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v2 [January 2021]
v1 [January 2021]
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