Formalizing the relationship between meaning and syntax

Wilfrid Hodges

in The Oxford Handbook of Compositionality

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199541072
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Formalizing the relationship between meaning and syntax

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Linguistics
  • Semantics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


Show Summary Details


Linguists started to handle the semantics of linguistic constructions with the proper generality only in the twentieth century. Leonard Bloomfield approaches the notion of a construction via the notion of a constituent. A “constituent” of a linguistic form e is a linguistic form, which occurs in e and also in some other linguistic form. It is an “immediate constituent” of e if it appears at the first level in the analysis of the form into ultimate constituents. A “construction” combines two or more linguistic forms as immediate constituents of a more complex form. Bloomfield's notion of a “pronounceable” string of sounds is purely phonetic. So the entire work of distinguishing grammatical from ungrammatical expressions of the language L rests on the question whether they are “meaningful.”

Keywords: linguistic constructions; semantics; linguistic forms; ungrammatical expressions; ungrammatical expressions

Article.  7675 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Semantics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.