Word Order: Merge or Externalisation?


  • سميّة المكّي Assistant Professor, College of Arts and sciences- Arabic Language Departement, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.




Word Order, Merge, Externalization, Computational System, Sensorimotor System, Valuation.


The word order phenomenon and its various derivations has been of most interest for the generative theory which was keen on identifying the different grammatical computations explaining it. As such, in the frame of Government and Binding theory, the –X’ theory established its technical conception of the structure on the basis that SVO is a universal order inherent in Universal Grammar. However, the Generative Theory soon rejected this conception under the Minimalist program by assuming that the system is blind to word order and that diversity in order is not derived from Universal Grammar, it is rather a characteristic of external cognitive systems. In fact, the structures are merged in a free way in the computational system, then, they come out in the sensory motor system in different patterns according to the different data provided in each experiment. In this general theoretical framework, this work is meant to investigate the computations that generate word order in human languages, and, to show in the process, that the generative conception gives rise to an intricate technical problem that assumes, on the one hand, free merge computations, and on the other hand, linking diversity to the featural valuation procedure. In fact, from a technical standpoint, I noticed that within the Minimalist Program, we are bound to adopt a universal word order right starting from the computational system from which are derived the patterns of order observed in human languages because every processing of word order requires a computational departure from a ready-made syntactic structure.



How to Cite

المكّي س. (2020). Word Order: Merge or Externalisation?. LANGUAGE ART, 5(2), 85–102. https://doi.org/10.22046/LA.2020.11