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Distributed for Center for the Study of Language and Information

The Nature of Explanation in Linguistic Theory

Elegant analyses by linguists have been a point of pride since the time of the Neogrammarians. But ever since Chomsky’s pioneering work on the goals of linguistic theory, this descriptive emphasis has shifted to focus on explanation. What, the contributors to this volume ask, renders a linguistic account explanatorily adequate? What are the empirical and theoretical trade-offs that come into play when linguists aim for explanation? Renowned scholars weigh in here, offering insightful answers to these questions.

320 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2003

Lecture Notes

Language and Linguistics: General Language and Linguistics

Table of Contents

1. Explanations in Linguistics
John Moore and Maria Polinsky
2. Exo-Skeletal vs. Endo-Skeletal Explanation: Syntactic Projections and the Lexicon
Hagit Borer
3. On the Notion ’Showing Something’
Greg Carlson
4. Linguistic Theory, Explanation and the Dynamics of Language
Peter W. Culicover, Andrzej Nowak, and Wojciech Borkowski
5. Explaining Infixation
John Haiman
6. Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars: Three General Principles
John A. Hawkins
7. An Historical Explanation of Some Binding Theoretic Facts in English
Edward L. Keenan
8. In Search of the Golden Slash: Prospecting for the Biological Explanations of Language
Robert Kluender
9. Generative Grammar and Beyond
S.-Y. Kuroda
10. Explanation in Cognitive Linguistics and Cognitive Grammar
Ronald W. Langacker
11. Meaning, Function, and the Autonomy of Syntax
Frederick J. Newmeyer
12. Minimalism and Explanation
Robert D. Van Valin, Jr.

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