UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 9 (1997)

Mirror theory


The paper argues for a theory of syntactic structure in which there is no distinction between word and phrasal level categories: the same category will be interpreted as a head in some respects and as a phrase in others. The theory takes the mirror principle to be axiomatic, analogous in status to the aspect of the projection principle that ensures that arguments of a head are projected from the lexicon. Similarly to this principle, the syntactic complement structure series is projected via the mirror principle from lexical-morphological word-internal structure. Given the lack of a syntactic word/phrase distinction, subparts of extended projections can serve as the (only) syntactic representation of words.

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