The study of language has changed substantially in the last decades. In particular, the development of new technologies has allowed the emergence of new experimental techniques which complement more traditional approaches to data in linguistics (like informal reports of native speakers’ judgments, surveys, corpus studies, or fieldwork). This move is an enriching feature of contemporary linguistics, allowing for a better understanding of a phenomenon as complex as natural language, where all sorts of factors (internal and external to the individual) interact (Chomsky 2005). This has generated some sort of divergence not only in research approaches, but also in the phenomena studied, with an increasing specialization between subfields and accounts. At the same time, it has also led to subfield isolation and methodological a priori, with some researchers even claiming that theoretical linguistics has little to offer to cognitive science (see for instance Edelman & Christiansen 2003). We believe that this view of linguistics (and cognitive science as a whole) is misguided, and that the complementarity of different approaches to such a multidimensional phenomenon as language should be highlighted for convergence and further development of its scientific study (see also Jackendoff 1988, 2007; Phillips & Lasnik 2003; den Dikken, Bernstein, Tortora & Zanuttini 2007; Sprouse, Schütze & Almeida 2013; Phillips 2013).
This book introduces formal grammar theories that play a role in current linguistic theorizing (Phrase Structure Grammar, Transformational Grammar/Government & Binding, Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar, Lexical Functional Grammar, Categorial Grammar, Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Construction Grammar, Tree Adjoining Grammar). The key assumptions are explained and it is shown how the respective theory treats arguments and adjuncts, the active/passive alternation, local reorderings, verb placement, and fronting of constituents over long distances. The analyses are explained with German as the object language. This work was published by Saint Philip Street Press pursuant to a Creative Commons license permitting commercial use. All rights not granted by the work's license are retained by the author or authors.
Where is the locus of language variation? In the grammar, outside the grammar or somewhere in between? Taking up the debate between system- and usage-based approaches, this volume provides new discussions of fundamental issues of language variation. It includes several highly insightful theoretical contributions as well as innovative empirical studies considering different types of data, the role of priming in language change and rare phenomena.
The structure and content of a contemporary second language textbook are intended to encourage the initiative learner activity and create proper conditions for its manifestation in the curriculum. This premise unreservedly accepted by the teaching community proposes a flexible approach to second language acquisition encouraging individual self-learning experience. Textbook Theory and Invariant Approaches to Language Learning: Emerging Research and Opportunities is a critical scholarly publication that examines the structure and function of current second language learning curricula and classrooms. The book pursues three main objectives, which include (1) reconstruction of the general conceptual framework of textbook theory; (2) systematization of the invariant approach applications; and (3) production of a set of concepts, principles, rules, and regularities underlying the invariant-based text development. Featuring a wide range of topics such as learning patterns, proficiency, and communication, this book is ideal for education professionals, academicians, professionals, researchers, curriculum designers, and students.
Methodological know-how has become one of the key qualifications in contemporary linguistics, which has a strong empirical focus. Containing 23 chapters, each devoted to a different research method, this volume brings together the expertise and insight of a range of established practitioners. The chapters are arranged in three parts, devoted to three different stages of empirical research: data collection, analysis and evaluation. In addition to detailed step-by-step introductions and illustrative case studies focusing on variation and change in English, each chapter addresses the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology and concludes with suggestions for further reading. This systematic, state-of-the-art survey is ideal for both novice researchers and professionals interested in extending their methodological repertoires. The book also has a companion website which provides readers with further information, links, resources, demonstrations, exercises and case studies related to each chapter.
TRENDS IN LINGUISTICS is a series of books that open new perspectives in our understanding of language. The series publishes state-of-the-art work on core areas of linguistics across theoretical frameworks as well as studies that provide new insights by building bridges to neighbouring fields such as neuroscience and cognitive science. TRENDS IN LINGUISTICS considers itself a forum for cutting-edge research based on solid empirical data on language in its various manifestations, including sign languages. It regards linguistic variation in its synchronic and diachronic dimensions as well as in its social contexts as important sources of insight for a better understanding of the design of linguistic systems and the ecology and evolution of language. TRENDS IN LINGUISTICS publishes monographs and outstanding dissertations as well as edited volumes, which provide the opportunity to address controversial topics from different empirical and theoretical viewpoints. High quality standards are ensured through anonymous reviewing.
The term “crosscurrent” is defined as “a current flowing counter to another.” This volume represents crosscurrents in second language acquisition and linguistic theory in several respects. First, although the main currents running between linguistics and second language acquisition have traditionally flowed from theory to application, equally important contributions can be made in the other direction as well. Second, although there is a strong tendency in the field of linguistics to see “theorists” working within formal models of syntax, SLA research can contribute to linguistic theory more broadly defined to include various functional as well as formal models of syntax, theories of phonology, variationist theories of sociolinguists, etc. These assumptions formed the basis for a conference held at Stanford University during the Linguistic Institute there in the summer of 1987. The conference was organized to update the relation between second language acquisition and linguistic theory. This book contains a selection of (mostly revised and updated) papers of this conference and two newly written papers.
Study Skills for Linguistics is the essential companion for students embarking on a degree in linguistics. Covering all the core skills that students of linguistics will require during the early part of their degree, this book gives the reader a basic understanding of the field, as well as confidence in how to find out more and how to prepare for their future career. The key features covered include: subject-specific skills including basic linguistic tools and terminology, such as word classes and grammatical terminology; essential study skills, such as how to perform well in the degree, how to search for and reference literature and how to write an essay; guides for a future with a linguistics degree, including how to write a CV and prepare for a range of graduate destinations. An accessible guide to essential skills in the field of linguistics, Study Skills for Linguistics is a must-read for students contemplating studying this topic, and provides a guide that will take them through their degree and beyond.
Suzanne Flynn and Wayne O'Neil Massachusetts Institute of Technology I. INTRODUCTION The theory of Universal Grammar (UG) as explicated e. g. in Chomsky, 1986, has led to explosive developments in the study of natural language as well as to significant advances in the study of first language (L I) acquisition. Most recently. the theory of UG has led to important theore tical and empirical advances in the field of adult second language (L2) acquisition as well. The principle impetus for this development can be traced to the work in linguistics which shifted the study "from behavior or the products of behavior to states of the mind/brain that enter into behavior" (Chomksy. 1986:3). Grammars within this framework are conceived of as theoretical accounts of "the state of the mind/brain of the person who knows a particular language" (Chomsky. 1986:3). Research within fields of language acquisition seeks to isolate and specify the properties of the underlying competence necessary for language learning. Full development of a theory of UG demands study and understanding of the nature of both the formal properties of language and of the language acquisition process itself. However. while there is a tradition of debate and dialogue established between theoretical linguistics and Ll acquisition research. relatively few connections have been made between linguistic theory and L2 acquisition research.
This updated edition contains over 900 articles, which provide a detailed overview of theory and research in all branches of linguistics. Every known language is covered and each article is followed by a detailed bibliography.
The volume is a reconsideration of the classic topics of linguistic analysis from a comparative-typological perspective. Data from over seventy languages are considered in their universal and language-specific aspects. Together, they highlight the crucial interactions at the different levels of grammar (phonology, morphology, lexicon, syntax and pragmatics) in the structural organization of the sentence.