Noam Chomsky / Generative Grammar
➝ Primary subject matter: Abstract universal principles that explain the properties of specific languages
➝ The essence of our language is innate
➝ The basis of language is universal
➝ Semantics and pragmatics are not a part of the study of language (Chomsky)
➝ Descriptive grammar with a penchant for judgment elicitation and intuition
➝ Goal: An internalized generative device that characterizes an infinite set of expressions
➝ "Language is primarily a cultural or social product."
➝ Primary subject matter: Linguistic communication, cognition, variation and change
➝ Cognitive, cultural, historical and evolutionary explanations of linguistic phenomena
➝ Children's language as a series of stages in an ontogenetic process of developing adult competence
➝ Goal: A mainly conventional and culturally transmitted system for linguistic communication
Leonard Bloomfield / "structuralists"
➝ Primary subject matter: Language use: structural properties of expressions and languages
➝ Use of corpora
➝ Descriptions of expression structures and interrelations
➝ Prediction of properties
➝ Patterns inferable from accessible features of language use
➝ Goal: A grasp of the distributional properties of a language
Individual: strictly a property of individual human beings, not groups or communities.
Internal: meaning is internal and a language is a state your mind/brain is in.
Intensional: a language is a specific procedure, generating infinitely many expressions of that language.
➝ Essentialist notion.
➝ Study of language in isolation.
➝ Two people could know different I-languages yet generate the same string of words.
Extensional: research-based on attested utterances or extensionally definable objects.
External: view that conceives of a language as a public, intersubjectively accessible system used by a community of people.
➝ Other speakers can be involved in the study of a language, not just one object.
➝ Essentialists oppose this notion.
➝ Essentialist distinction (Chomsky)
➝ Competence: what knowing a language confers, a grasp of all sentences
➝ Performance: real-time use of a language
➝ Criticism: "The structure that underlines a language use reflects the operation of general principles of human cognition, they shape how individual speakers and hearers represent form and meaning."
➝ Chomsky: "Semantics are merely a part of an interface level/form of syntax and are not related to the language faculty." (not all Essentialists agree with this view)
➝ Bloomfield: "It is okay to assign semantics to other fields than language because of the underdeveloped state of semantic research."
➝ Autonomy thesis: syntactic form is independent from semantics and pragmatics.
Ordinal scale: a partial ordering equivalence in acceptability or ranking in degree of unacceptability.
Interval scale: a measure of distance between ordinal positions.
Magnitude estimation: a measure of subjects' judgments of physical stimuli on an interval scale.
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