On Relativized Minimality, Memory and cue-based parsing


  • Ivan Ortega Santos University of Memphis


Relativized Minimality, cue-based parsing, wh-islands, memory interference


It is argued that Relativized Minimality (RM, Rizzi 1990 and Starke 2001, a.o.) is grammaticized as a real constraint that is functionally grounded as a response to memory. In particular, it is shown that a cue-based retrieval parser (Van Dyke & Lewis 2003, Lewis & Vasishth 2005), according to which the integration of incoming words into existing interpretation is limited by retrieval interference and decay, can explain a number of features of RM. This analysis can capture both the properties that RM and general cognitive phenomena share (e.g., the similarity-based interference) and the features which are unique to this constraint, (e.g., the role of c-command). Recent developments in research on aphasia (Grillo 2008) and language acquisition (Adani et al. 2010) support this interpretation. Furthermore, the issue of crosslinguistic variation and a number of arguments against coding islands in the grammar (e.g., Kluender 2004 and Hofmeister & Sag 2010) are addressed.


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Author Biography

Ivan Ortega Santos, University of Memphis

Assistant Professor Dept. of Foreign Languages & Literatures University of Memphis



How to Cite

Ortega Santos, I. (2011). On Relativized Minimality, Memory and cue-based parsing. IBERIA: An International Journal of Theoretical Linguistics, 3(1). Retrieved from https://revistascientificas.us.es/index.php/iberia/article/view/101