The Complexity of Trees, Universal Grammar and Economy Conditions
Department of Linguistics, New York University, New York, NY, USA
In this squib, I argue that the child faces a severe computational complexity problem in parsing even the simplest of trees: the number of possible trees consistent with UG grows exponentially as a function of the number of lexical items. Economy conditions have the result of drastically decreasing the complexity of the parsing task. I also discuss the relationship between UG, I-language, economy conditions and explanatory adequacy.