We are two thirds of the way through this years lectures and David continued his Sherman like march through the thicket of Minimalist mechanisms. Here are the slides. The second lecture had three main points; to expose the inadequacies of standard roll-up analyses of certain word order effects (mainly attempts to derive Greenberg's universal 20), to show that what made the standard roll-up approaches successful were exogenous constraints added to an otherwise much too powerful roll-up technology and to argue for a theory which endogenously prevented the unwanted structures from being generated. The latter is a revised (and improved) version of the theory presented in David's book (here).
The second lecture started with David's recasting of the meta-principle that he assumed in lecture 1 and continued to assume here: that movement operations that have no affect on CI are to be discouraged. His entering wedge into the discussion on roll-up was the observation that roll-up is mainly interested in deriving word order effects from hierarchy (in an LCAish context a la Kayne). This violates the meta-principle and so it must go! However, as became clear in the question period of lecture 1, the adequacy of the meta-principle was far from clear (recall Lasnik's objections also pursued by Alexander Williams). So David began lecture 2 by revising his version of the principle. It too ran into some heavy questioning as it seems to detach semantic interpretation operations from the syntactic operations that generated the relevant syntactic structures. This time the semanticists (Valentine Hacquard, Paul Pietroski and Alexander Williams) pushed David very hard on whether so de-tethering CI interoperation from Merge didn't amount to allowing the possibility of what I dubbed "construction semantics." David was appalled at the possibility, but IMO, the semanticists were able to make the case that his revised assumptions seemed to lead in that direction. The question period was taped and I will put a link up to the 3 lectures when the videos are posted.
So today is the final lecture. I expect to be quite challenged for David is gunning for sidewards movement today (a favorite of mine). I'll post the slides tomorrow after I get them. SO far the lectures have been great fun.