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The Linguistics Wars


When it was first published in 1957, Noam Chomsky's Syntactic Structures seemed to be just a logical expansion of the reigning approach to ... Show synopsis

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Overall customer rating: 5.000

History? A funny, enjoyable thing

by protagoras on Oct 31, 2007

If you are looking for some clue over the most celebrated and discussed and opposed position over language and our psychological there-to-be-demonstrated endowment of the last half a century - that is, Mr. Noam Chomsky's Generative Grammar - here's the book that you should read. With witty argumentation, subtle and humorous, a good capacity for historical summary and interesting insight into the personalities of the dramatis personae of the story Randy Allen Harris homages the displacement by Mr. Chomsky of American structuralist linguistics underlying both merits and shortcomings of his theory, including short but clear and efficacious explanations of the main theoretical questions the movement of Generative Grammar had taken, and pays attention to the dispute between the master and its former disciples, (with an eye always to the social and historical background, which saw the emergence of the so-called "counterculture" of the 60s, then into the recession of values of the 70s, and up into the savage 80s), which arisen just over these theoretical questions, that developed in the antagonist current of Generative Semantics, highlighting the general and particular differences and dwelling with intelligence on the reasons why Mr. Chomsky at last won the dispute, or as it is called by the protagonists, the "wars". An enjoyable, fresh, sparkling book which will keep you on the chair up to the last line.

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