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The Substance of Language Volume III: Phonology-Syntax Analogies

The Substance of Language Volume III: Phonology-Syntax Analogies

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  • ISBN-13: 9780199608331
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Release Date: Dec 17, 2011
  • Edition: 1
  • Pages: 448 pages
  • Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.4 x 9.3 inches


The three volumes of The Substance of Language collectively overhaul linguistic theory from phonology to semantics and syntax to pragmatics and offer a full account of how the form/function relationship works in language. Each explores the consequences for the investigation of language of a conviction that all aspects of linguistic structure are grounded in the non-linguistic mental faculties on which language imposes its own structure. The first and third look at how syntax and phonology are fed by a lexical component that includes morphology and which unites representations in the two planes. The second examines the way morphology is embedded in the lexicon as part of the expression of the lexicon-internal relationships of words.

Phonology-Syntax Analogies looks at the substantive and structural analogies between phonology and syntax and the factors that cause such analogies to break down. It considers the degree to which analogies between syntax and phonology result from their both being representational subsystems within the overall system of language. At the same time it examines how far semantic and phonetic properties limit such analogies. The book presents a powerful argument against the notion of an ungrounded autonomous syntax, which it sustains and supports by detailed grammatical analyses and a powerfully coherent conceptual understanding of the nature of language

The many detailed proposals of John Anderson's fine trilogy are derived from an over-arching conception of the nature of linguistic knowledge that is in turn based on the grounding of syntax in semantics and the grounding of phonology in phonetics, both convincingly subsumed under the notion of cognitive salience. The Substance of Language is a major contribution to linguistic theory and the history of linguistic thought.

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