Principles and Parameters framework

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The conception of grammar introduced in Chomsky (1981), which takes natural language, i.e. our linguistic competence to be a complex of subsystems of principles, each with one or more parameters of variation, and grammars of particular languages to be determined by fixing parameters in these (sub)systems.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Chomsky, N. 1986a. Knowledge of language: its nature, origin and use, Praeger, New York.
  • Chomsky, N. 1981. Lectures on Government and Binding, Foris, Dordrecht.
  • Chomsky, N. and H. Lasnik 1993. The theory of principles and parameters, in: J. Jacobs A. von Stechow, W. Sternefeld, and T. Vennemann (eds.) Syntax: an international handbook of contemporary research, De Gruyter, Berlin. Reprinted in: Chomsky (1995), The minimalist program, ch.1, pp.13-127, MIT Press, Cambridge MA.
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