Review of the book Current Approaches to Syntax: A Comparative Handbook, edited by A. Kertész, E. Moravcsik, & C. Rákosi (2019)

Indiana University, Bloomington

Current Approaches to Syntax: A Comparative Handbook of the Comparative Handbooks of Linguistics Series of De Gruyter Mouton is a reference book edited by András Kertész, Edith Moravcsik and Csilla Rákosi. It aims to provide a systematic comparison of various contemporary syntactic approaches and encourages metatheoretical reflection for practitioners of syntactic research. The 600-page book consists of 21 chapters and two parts. The Introduction by Edith Moravcsik starts with discussing how to compare syntactic frameworks and why it is desirable to undertake this endeavour. The chapter also outlines the four parameters for the comparison of syntactic theories: “goals”, “data”, “tools” and “evaluation”, which all the authors of the chapters in Part I were asked to apply as headings. Section 3 of the Introduction “Parameters of metatheories” was written by Csilla Rákosi. This section discusses the necessary congruities and possible differences between metatheories of syntax. Section 4 of the Introduction provides some sample comparisons among theories on the basis of the internal organization of syntax (levels), of grammar (components) and of cognition (modularity). The conclusion to the Introduction discusses conflict resolution as an additional parameter of theory comparison.