The Six Commandments

This week, CASTL-LAVA’s Professor II Jason Rothman organized a major event in Reading featuring Chomsky and several other speakers, including two of our other Professor II’s, Terje Lohndal and Tanja Kupisch.

The event was a major success, and Chomsky did a convincing impersonation of Moses coming down from Mt. Sinai with the Commandments, which in this case were six in number:

  1. Thou shalt have no other adequacy before Descriptive Adequacy

2. Remember the Strong Minimalist Thesis, to keep it holy

3. Thou shalt not squander Computational Resources

4. Thou shalt not fail to apply an operation if its structural conditions are met (Determinacy)

5. Thou shalt not be incoherent (Coherence: something can’t refer to Mary in line 1 and to John in line 3)

6. Thou shalt not be inaccessible (Recursion: Every object is accessible to further operations)

Continuing the impersonation of a stern messiah tasked by an even sterner diety to whip the masses into line, Chomsky pretended to be furious with Parallel Merge, who was breaking about three or four of the Commandments, which was Unacceptable! He also banished into eternal darkness such apostates as Sideways Merge, Triggered Merge, the elimination of Internal Merge by recasting movement as External Merge, and Crash-Proof Grammar.

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