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Current generative grammar predicts a larger set of transitive structures than the six types normally mentioned in the typological handbooks (SVO, SOV, VSO, etc). The main cause of this discrepancy is that, whereas generative grammar investigates the hierarchical positions of the verb and its arguments, most typological research is concerned with their relative surface order. In order to bring together these two lines of research, we have to translate the predictions of generative grammar into a more sophisticated typology in linear terms that can be taken as the point of departure for future typological research. This programmatic article is written in the hope that the generative grammar may help typologists to find certain so far unknown typological differences between languages, and that typologists, in turn, may help generative grammar by providing the relevant typological data that are needed to evaluate the competing theoretical proposals and to improve the most successful ones.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalLinguistic Variation Yearbook
Journal publication date2011

ID: 287664