Conclusion and interface

John M. Anderson

in The Substance of Language Volume I

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608317
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732034 | DOI:
Conclusion and interface

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The final chapter lays out some of the consequences of the discussions in the preceding chapters. These include the importance to the understanding of syntactic structure of groundedness, both of categories and structural dimensions, including the phonological. Negatively, another consequence is the irrelevance of empty categories and structural mutation, any remnant of the notion ‘transformation’. Syntax is lexicalist and structure‐building. It is important that languages be recognized as cultural phenomena of mind, subject to the conventionalization of usage as well as the creativity of the analogizing imaginations of speakers. Progress in our understanding of syntax will not flow from assumptions of autonomy, or of some ‘universal grammar’; what is involved is relative grammaticalization based on grounding. The chapter concludes with an attempt to link the present discussion with the other volumes of the trilogy in terms of their concern with different aspects of the substantiveness of language.

Keywords: groundedness; empty categories; structural mutation; transformation; conventionalization; analogy; imagination; autonomy; universal grammar; grammaticalization

Chapter.  5994 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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