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Interface Strategies
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The central question of Reinhart's long-awaited study is how language is designed so that it can be used by systems of thought, interpretation, and interaction in a manner appropriate to circumstances. One original thesis, rich in consequences, is that the computational system of language that generates linguistic expressions is distinct from the computational strategies that operate in cases of mismatch with properties of the systems that access internally generated expressions in language use. These 'interface strategies,' she argues, involve choice of an 'optimal competitor' within a narrowly constructed reference set of options. This sophisticated and wide-ranging study, and the framework it presents and explores in depth, should prove invaluable for further inquiry into the fundamental questions of language and thought, and their place in the biological world and in human life. -- Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor, MIT This volume investigates fundamental questions of language structure like quantifers, anaphora, and focus. A unifying trait of such constructions is that their interpretation hinges on comparing alternatives. As Reinhart shows, the consequences of this for the architecture of grammar are far reaching. Her investigations go to the very heart of the problems, combining thorough analyses of specific issues with broad insights on universal grammar. Research of this sort vividly illustrates why the generative enterprise, with all its problems and controversies, remains so exciting and keeps pushing forward the frontiers of our understanding of human cognition. -- Gennaro Chierchia, University of Milan -- Bicocca and Harvard University Interface Strategies is a carefully crafted study, explaining how several seemingly unrelated psycholinguistic phenomena can be unified. This is a major scientific achievement, bringing linguistic theory to bear directly on child and adult language processing. -- Stephen Crain, Professor of Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, Australia

About the Author

The late Tanya Reinhart was the Interface Chair at Utrecht University, a Global Distinguished Professor at NYU, and the author of Interface Strategies: Optimal and Costly Computations (MIT Press) and other books. Samuel Jay Keyser is Professor Emeritus in MIT’s Department of Linguistics and Philosophy and Special Assistant to the Chancellor. Head of the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy from 1977 to 1998, he also held the positions of Director of the Center for Cognitive Science and Associate Provost.

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"The central question of Reinhart's long-awaited study is how language is designed so that it can be used by systems of thought, interpretation, and interaction in a manner appropriate to circumstances. One original thesis, rich in consequences, is that the computational system of language that generates linguistic expressions is distinct from the computational strategies that operate in cases of mismatch with properties of the systems that access internally generated expressions in language use. These 'interface strategies,' she argues, involve choice of an 'optimal competitor' within a narrowly constructed reference set of options. This sophisticated and wide-ranging study, and the framework it presents and explores in depth, should prove invaluable for further inquiry into the fundamental questions of language and thought, and their place in the biological world and in human life." Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor, MIT " Interface Strategies is a carefully crafted study, explaining how several seemingly unrelated psycholinguistic phenomena can be unified. This is a major scientific achievement, bringing linguistic theory to bear directly on child and adult language processing." Stephen Crain , Professor of Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, Australia "*Interface Strategies* is a carefully crafted study, explaining how several seemingly unrelated psycholinguistic phenomena can be unified. This is a major scientific achievement, bringing linguistic theory to bear directly on child and adult language processing."--Stephen Crain, Professor of Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, Australia

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