Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 August 2019
Constituent structure is commonly represented in phrase structure trees, which one might analyze as some kind of network. However, while phrase structure graphs are useful to explain certain aspects of syntactic structure, they are not fully compatible with the dynamic network approach, as these graphs are built from primitive concepts. Challenging the traditional approach, Chapter 9 outlines a dynamic network analysis of constituency in which the hierarchical organization of linguistic structure is emergent from the interaction of several domain-general processes, including conceptualization, automatization, analogy and abstraction, which together account for both the syntactic generalizations that have been in the focus of formal syntax and the many idiosyncracies that reflect the influence of speakers’ experience with particular constructions. The proposed analysis casts a fresh light on syntactic constituency and has far-reaching implications for the theory of phrase structure and the analysis of word order correlations.