ERIC Number: ED492027
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug-17
The Dynamics of Language: An Introduction. Syntax and Semantics. Volume 35
Cann, Ronnie; Kempson, Ruth; Marten, Lutz
For the whole of the last half-century, most theoretical syntacticians have assumed that knowledge of language is different from the tasks of speaking and understanding. There have been some dissenters, but, by and large, this view still holds sway. This book takes a different view: it continues the task set in hand by Kempson et al (2001) of arguing that the common-sense intuition is correct that knowledge of language consists in being able to use it in speaking and understanding. "The Dynamics of Language" argues that interpretation is built up across as sequence of words relative to some context and that this is all that is needed to explain the structural properties of language. The dynamics of how interpretation is built up is the syntax of a language system. The authors' first task is to convey to a general linguistic audience with a minimum of formal apparatus, the substance of that formal system. Secondly, as linguists, they set themselves the task of applying the formal system to as broad an array of linguistic puzzles as possible, the languages analysed ranging from English to Japanese and Swahili. This book contains the following nine chapters: (1) The Point of Departure; (2) The Dynamics of Interpretation; (3) Relative Clause Construal; (4) Tree Growth and Language Typologies; (5) On the Right Periphery; (6) The Challenge of Japanese; (7) Swahili Agreement and Conjunction; (8) Coplua Constructions in English; and (9) General Perspectives. A list of references and an index is also included.
Descriptors: Language Processing, Semantics, Grammar, Japanese, English, African Languages, Lexicology, Morphology (Languages)
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