Collocations in Generative Theory

Journal Article
Tags: 
collocations, Chomsky's mainstream theories, the lexicon-syntax interface, non-chomskyan theories
Magazine \ Newspaper: 
Journal of Arts, Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences
Publication Abstract: 

Collocations are not examined adequately within the minimalist program and other earlier mainstream theories because they are relegated to an irregular lexicon that is distinct from a rule-based syntax despite the fact that collocations may have lexical and syntactic properties. In this paper, I argue that we need to relax this this strict division between the lexicon and the syntax in order to account for collocations. The minimalist program can address, as other non-Chomskyan theories, the basic properties of collocations. Therefore, I argue that there are general rules applying at the lexicon and the syntax to achieve specific structural and semantic goals. Merger is one important rule that applies in the lexicon to generate a phrase structure (i.e. a collocation structure that speakers of the language learn as ready-made chunks(. I argue that merger is a direct result of Kayne’s Linear Correspondence Axiom (LCA) requiring the phrase structure constituents to be linearly order. Merger also applies to the syntax as explained in Chomsky’s mainstream tradition and is conditioned by the LCA.