Written by one of the most respected figures in American linguistics, this book develops an approach to the analysis of language on a mathematical model. Harris presents a formal theory of language structure, in which syntax is characterized as an orderly system of departure from random combinings of sounds, words, and all the elements of language. He argues that the combining of words in a sentence constitutes a mathematical object, and that each departure from randomness is a contribution to the structure and meaning of a sentence. Discussing the differences in the structure and content of language, mathematics, and music, Harris shows that the use of language in a science constitutes a distinguishable sub-language. Remarkable and compelling, Harris's magnum opus will be considered the classical analysis of the structuring of information and development of language.
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Professor Harris is one of the pre-eminent figures in linguistics this century. He was the most eminent exponent of Structuralism, which was the dominant paradigm in American linguistics before Chomsky. Professor Harris's best-known work Structural Linguistics (University of Chicago Press, 1951) is an enduring student text.Review:
`interesting discussions on language as a self-organizing and evolving system with specific limits' Journal of Linguistic Anthropology
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Book Description Clarendon Press, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110198242247