Linguistic Theory and Psychological Reality
Morris Halle (eds), 1978


This book is based on a series of meetings, the Convocation on Communication, organized by MIT and sponsored by AT&T, held at MIT during March 1976.

1. A Realistic Transformational Grammar
Joan Bresnan

The Grammar Characterization Problem: to represent the language user's knowledge of language.

The Grammatical Realization Problem: to specify the relation between the grammar and the model of language use into which the grammar is to be incorporated.

Chomsky's grammar is NOT a model for a speaker or a hearer. Psychological experiments do not support the reality of transformations. Perhaps the failures of TG can be used to help improve the grammar models.

2. Semantic Relations among Words
George A. Miller

3. An ATN Approach to Comprehension
Eric Wanner and Michael Maratsos

4. Anaphora as an Approach to Pragmatics
Keith Stenning

5. Grammar as Evidence for Conceptual Structure
Ray Jackendoff

Jackendoff begins by assuming that semantics exists separately from language and that it is, in fact, exactly the conceptual structure by which we observe and manipulate the world. He expresses the hope that the conceptual structure will have many parallels with linguistic structure and that the study of linguistics will provide many guides to the study of cognition.

Argument 1: The syntax of noun and prepositional phrases suggests that things, locations and paths should be semantic primitives. Things can be singular, plural or stuff; you can refer to things by pronouns (or demonstratives) "he", "she", "it", "this" or "that"; and you can separate out certain things with "which one", "which ...". Prepositional phrases are used to identify, describe and discuss locations or paths.

Argument 2:

Argument 3: Spacial concepts can be abstracted and generalized and used to represent concepts in other domains than space.

6. Language and the Brain
Edgar B. Zurif and Sheila E. Blumstein

7. New Models in Linguistics and Language Acquisition
Michael Maratsos

8. The Child as Word Learner
Susan Carey

9. Knowledge Unlearned and Untaught: What Speakers Know about the Sounds of Their Language
Morris Halle

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