Download Ideology and Linguistic Theory: Noam Chomsky and the Deep by John A. Goldsmith, Geoffrey J. Huck PDF

By John A. Goldsmith, Geoffrey J. Huck

In The Ideological constitution of Linguistic Theory Geoffrey J. Huck and John A. Goldsmith supply a revisionist account of the improvement of principles approximately semantics in glossy theories of language, focusing really on Chomsky's very public rift with the Generative Semanticists in regards to the notion of Deep constitution.

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Additional info for Ideology and Linguistic Theory: Noam Chomsky and the Deep Structure Debates

Sample text

But there is also a sense in which looking at global rules that way involves the same sort of serious confusion that led to claims that falsification of the Katz-Postal hypothesis entailed falsification of a Generative Semantics theory. If constructions in a derivation are viewed as purely syntactic objects that are themselves subject to semantic interpretation, then a claim that transformations do or do not preserve meaning has content. But if the rules (global or local) that determine the steps in a derivation are conceived of as relating surface structure and semantic representation, then it makes little sense to ask whether those rules are meaning-preserving.

But whatever his implicit intent in LSLT, the explicit concern there was with providing a formal basis for the grammar. By 1963 or so that essentially distributional program orientation had taken second place to the psychological orientation that had only been alluded to in passing in his books and articles between 1955 and 1957. 12 If the primary goal of linguistic research was now to be that of explaining how a speaker has somehow acquired this knowledge of his or her language, 24 GAPS IN THE PARADIGM then the hypothesis that that knowledge is genetically determined "to an exten t that has not, in the past, been considered at all likely" becomes far more interesting.

Hockett 1948: 279) Beginning in the late 1950s, and then increasingly thereafter, Chomsky expressed in his published work considerable interest in the question of how a child can in fact acquire knowledge of his or her language. In a 1958 paper, Chomsky described the situation in terms which echoed Hockett's: The child who has learned a language has actually succeeded in developing something like a rather abstract theory to account for specific subject matter (observation of particular sen tences) ; and the adult who recognizes and understands a sentence has succeeded in determining that this sentence is "predicted" (generated) by this theory, and in determining how it is generated ...

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