Full Text

106. Exceptionality

Matthew Wolf


Subject Theoretical Linguistics » Morphology, Phonology

Key-Topics formal grammars

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184236.2011.00108.x


Extract

The work of phonologists is, in part, to discover empirical generalizations about the sound shape of utterances in each of the world's languages, and to formulate theories which predict these generalizations. The “in part” comes from the mentalist stance of generative linguistics: its ultimate goal is not merely a theory which accounts for generalizations in surface data, but a theory that accounts for these data in the same way that native speakers' internalized grammars do. In a sense, then, generative analyses are not really theories of (corpus-internal) linguistic data per se; they are theories of native speakers' tacit theories about those data – the grammars which speakers arrive at during language acquisition. In Chomsky's (1965) terms, generative linguistics aims at theories that possess explanatory adequacy – the ability to account for how language acquisition occurs (and thus also for the knowledge resulting from acquisition) – and not merely observational adequacy – the ability to correctly predict the grammatical or ungrammatical status, for the language in question, of any given form. This mentalist stance creates two complications for how phonologists deal with generalizations in linguistic data. First, a language's lexicon might contain generalizations which speakers have not incorporated into their mental grammars, perhaps because Universal Grammar does not ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top