Recursion and self-embedding are at the heart of our ability to formulate our thoughts, articulate our imagination and share with other human beings. Nonetheless, controversy exists over the extent to which recursion is shared across all domains of syntax. A collection of 18 studies are presented here on the central linguistic property of recursion, examining a range of constructions in over a dozen languages representing great areal, typological and genetic diversity and spanning wide latitudes. The volume expands the topic to include prepositional phrases, possessives, adjectives, and relative clauses - our many vehicles to express creative thought - to provide a critical perspective on claims about how recursion connects to broader aspects of the mind. Parallel explorations across language families, literate and non-literate societies, children and adults are investigated and constitutes a new step in the generative tradition by simultaneously focusing on formal theory, acquisition and experimentation, and ecologically-sensitive fieldwork, and initiates a new community where these diverse experts collaborate.
Andreas Trotzke - Universität Konstanz, Germany
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