Local Economy





Any theory of grammar must contain a lexicon, an interface with the mechanisms of production and perception (PF), and an interface with the interpretational system of semantics (LF). A traditional way to relate these three components in generative theory is through a derivation. Noam Chomsky's Minimalist Program postulates that grammatical derivations are constrained by economy conditions, requiring that derivations be minimal. One of the most important questions of syntax is what the economy conditions are and how they operate. In Local Economy, Chris Collins proposes that economy conditions are local. According to this theory, evaluating economy conditions does not involve comparing whole derivations. Rather, economy conditions are evaluated at each step in the derivation. Collins shows that locative inversion and quotative inversion provide strong arguments for local economy. In addition, he explores the far-reaching consequences of this proposal for other areas of syntax, including the strict cycle, binary branching, successive cyclicity, and expletive constructions. He demonstrates that local economy is superior to global economy on conceptual as well as empirical grounds. Local Economy is one of the first books other than Chomsky's The Minimalist Program (MIT, 1995) to deal in a general way with economy of derivation and Minimalism. Linguistic Inquiry Monograph No. 29


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262032421 160 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$25.00 X ISBN: 9780262531443 160 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


  • This book shows in depth that local economy is superior to global economy not only on conceptual grounds but also on empirical grounds. The logic is very clear and the arguments are so well-organized that it is very easy for the reader to follow them. In addition, the specific claims and proposals are well motivated on conceptual grounds, presented in a very illuminating way, and successfully defended with ample data and arguments. One of the most remarkable achievements the author has accomplished in this book is his success in showing the importance of local economy in the linguistic theory on empirical grounds. Second is his successful implementation of local economy in the current theory of Chomskyan linguistic (the 'Minimalis theory'). this book will be of great consequence to the current theory of grammar.

    Hiroyuki Ura

    Faculty of Language and Culture, Osaka University

  • Chris Collins' book, Local Economy, approaches the foundational notions of syntactic theory from a very sharp perspective. It proposes an interesting departure from the current views on Economy, where the optimal derivation is chosen out of the convergent ones. Collins argues instead that Economy principles apply locally without regard to convergence. This work makes a significant contribution to the study of syntax, with important implications for various aspects of the theory. I am sure that our field will benefit greatly from the publication of this work.

    Akira Watanabe

    Department of English, Kanda University of International Studies

  • This monograph will provoke a great deal of constructive discussionand debate among syntacticians of all kinds. Collins has done anespecially good job of making the work accessible to those of us whodidn't 'grow up' in Building 20.

    Molly Diesing

    Cornell University