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Semantics of Syntax, The : A Minimalist Approach to Grammar

Bouchard, Denis

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ISBN 10: 0226067335 / ISBN 13: 9780226067339
Published by University Of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill., 1995
Used Condition: Very Good Soft cover
From Monroe Street Books (Middlebury, VT, U.S.A.)

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525 pages. Minor wear to stiff wrappers. Clean, tight copy in excellent condition. Record # 453770. Bookseller Inventory # 453770

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Semantics of Syntax, The : A Minimalist ...

Publisher: University Of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill.

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: None

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

During the last thirty years, most linguists and philosophers have assumed that meaning can be represented symbolically and that the mental processing of language involves the manipulation of symbols. Scholars have assembled strong evidence that there must be linguistic representations at several abstract levels—phonological, syntactic, and semantic—and that those representations are related by a describable system of rules. Because meaning is so complex, linguists often posit an equally complex relationship between semantic and other levels of grammar.

The Semantics of Syntax is an elegant and powerful analysis of the relationship between syntax and semantics. Noting that meaning is underdetermined by form even in simple cases, Denis Bouchard argues that it is impossible to build knowledge of the world into grammar and still have a describable grammar. He thus proposes simple semantic representations and simple rules to relate linguistic levels. Focusing on a class of French verbs, Bouchard shows how multiple senses can be accounted for by the assumption of a single abstract core meaning along with background information about how objects behave in the world. He demonstrates that this move simplifies the syntax at no cost to the descriptive power of the semantics. In two important final chapters, he examines the consequences of his approach for standard syntactic theories.

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