Journal of Linguistics

Review Article

Symptomatic imperfections 1

David Adger, Core syntax: a Minimalist approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Pp. xiii+424.

Andrew Radford, Minimalist syntax: exploring the structure of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Pp. xiii+512.

a1 Carleton University

Article author query
asudeh a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
toivonen i   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Minimalist syntax and Core syntax are reasonably good textbooks. They should be very helpful indeed in teaching a syntax course on current Principles and Parameters theory (P&P; Chomsky 1981) that focuses on the Minimalist Program (MP; Chomsky 1995, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005). The books present a range of syntactic phenomena, which are for the most part discussed lucidly and illustrated by considerable relevant data. Nevertheless, the books are not pedagogically faultless and the pedagogical faults are often due to underlying theoretical problems.

(Received May 20 2005)
(Revised October 18 2005)

c1 Institute of Cognitive Science & School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 2201 Dunton Tower, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6, Canada. E-mail:,


1 We would like to thank David Adger, Bob Borsley, Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy, Paul Kiparsky, Jason Merchant, Diane Nelson, Chris Potts, Andrew Radford, Charles Reiss, Peter Sells, and Gary Tso for their comments and suggestions. Thank you also to the people at JL: two anonymous referees, Ewa Jaworska, Maggie Tallerman and Bob Borsley, once more, in his editorial capacity. All remaining imperfections are our own.