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Theoretical Linguistics

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Exploring Language with Game Theory

In Meaningful Games, Robin Clark explains in an accessible manner the usefulness of game theory in thinking about a wide range of issues in linguistics. Clark argues that we use grammar strategically to signal our intended meanings: our choices as speaker are conditioned by what choices the hearer will make interpreting what we say. Game theory--according to which the outcome of a decision depends on the choices of others--provides a formal system that allows us to develop theories about the kind of decision making that is crucial to understanding linguistic behavior.

This introductory text takes a novel approach to the study of syntax. Grammar as Science offers an introduction to syntax as an exercise in scientific theory construction. Syntax provides an excellent instrument for introducing students from a wide variety of backgrounds to the principles of scientific theorizing and scientific thought; it engages general intellectual themes present in all scientific theorizing as well as those arising specifically within the modern cognitive sciences.

An Introduction to Minimalist Syntax

This unusual book takes the form of a dialogue between a linguist and another scientist. The dialogue takes place over six days, with each day devoted to a particular topic—and the ensuing digressions. The role of the linguist is to present the fundamentals of the minimalist program of contemporary generative grammar. Although the linguist serves essentially as a voice for Noam Chomsky's ideas, he is not intended to be a portrait of Chomsky himself.

An Introduction to Semantics

This self-contained introduction to natural language semantics addresses the major theoretical questions in the field. The authors introduce the systematic study of linguistic meaning through a sequence of formal tools and their linguistic applications. Starting with propositional connectives and truth conditions, the book moves to quantification and binding, intensionality and tense, and so on.

Contemporary Lectures on Classic Transformational Theory

with Marcela Depiante and Arthur Stepanov

System requirements:

- Apple Macintosh with a 68040 or better processor; Power Macintosh (PPC) recommended

- 16MB of free RAM (20MB recommended)

- approximately 25MB of free hard drive sapce

- 256 color, 640x480 pixel monitor or better

- MacOS System 7.5 or later

- QuickTime 3.0 or later

Optional:

- PlainTalk microphone (for voice recording)

- Macintosh text-to-speech (TTS) software

Edited by Peter Ludlow

Throughout the history of ideas, various branches of philosophy have spun off into the natural sciences, including physics, biology, and perhaps most recently, cognitive psychology. A central theme of this collection is that the philosophy of language, at least a core portion of it, has matured to the point where it is now being spun off into linguistic theory. Each section of the book contains historical (twentieth-century) readings and, where available, recent attempts to apply the resources of contemporary linguistic theory to the problems under discussion.

Core Readings
Edited by Paul Bloom

Language Acquisition offers, in one convenient reader, work by the most outstanding researchers in each field and is intended as a snapshot of the sort of theory and research taking place in language acquisition in the 1990s. All of the articles and chapters were chosen to reflect topics and debates of current interest, and all take an interdisciplinary approach to language development, relating the study of how a child comes to possess a language to issues within linguistics, computational theory, biology, social cognition, and comparative psychology.

The Managua Lectures

Language and Problems of Knowledge is Noam Chomsky's most accessible statement on the nature, origins, and current concerns of the field of linguistics. He frames the lectures with four fundamental questions: What do we know when we are able to speak and understand a language? How is this knowledge acquired? How do we use this knowledge? What are the physical mechanisms involved in the representation, acquisition, and use of this knowledge?

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