This handbook, the first volume of its kind, showcases the multiple experimental methods that are used to explore the central questions in syntactic research. The chapters provide reviews of major experimental work, offer methodological guidance, and will inspire new research that will push the boundaries of the theory of syntax.
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This volume showcases the contributions that formal experimental methods can make to syntactic research in the 21st century. Syntactic theory is both a domain of study in its own right, and one component of an integrated theory of the cognitive neuroscience of language. It provides a theory of the mediation between sound and meaning, a theory of the representations constructed during sentence processing, and a theory of the end-state for language acquisition. Given the highly interactive nature of the theory of syntax, this volume defines "experimental syntax" in the broadest possible terms, exploring both formal experimental methods that have been part of the domain of syntax since its inception (i.e., acceptability judgment methods) and formal experimental methods that have arisen through the interaction of syntactic theory with the domains of acquisition, psycholinguistics, and neurolinguistics. The Oxford Handbook of Experimental Syntax brings these methods together into a single experimental syntax volume for the first time, providing high-level reviews of major experimental work, offering guidance for researchers looking to incorporate these diverse methods into their own work, and inspiring new research that will push the boundaries of the theory of syntax. It will appeal to students and scholars from the advanced undergraduate level upwards in a range of fields including syntax, acquisition, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, and computational linguistics.