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Norbert Hornstein

 Norbert Hornstein, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Maryland, is the author of Logic as Grammar: An Approach to Meaning in Natural Languages.

Titles by This Author

Tense and Universal Grammar

How do humans acquire, at a very early age and from fragmentary and haphazard data, the complex patterns of their native language? This is the logical problem of language acquisition, and it is the question that directs the search for an innate universal grammar. As Time Goes By extends the search by proposing a theory of natural-language tense that will be responsive to the problem of language acquisition.

The clearly written discussion proceeds step-by-step from simple observations and principles to far-reaching conclusions involving complex data carefully selected and persuasively presented. Throughout, Hornstein focuses on the logical problem of language acquisition, highlighting the importance of explanatory adequacy and the role of syntactic representations in determining intricate properties of semantic interpretation.

An Approach to Meaning in Natural Language

How is the meaning of natural language interpreted? Taking as its point of departure the logical problem of natural language acquisition, this book elaborates a theory of meaning based on syntactical rather than semantical processes. Hornstein argues that the traditional neoFregean approach taken by Davidson, Barwise and Perry, and Montague, among others - an approach that makes use of semantical notions like "truth" and "reference" - should be replaced by a theory drawn from the syntactical vocabulary of generative grammar.

Surprisingly, the book points out that linguistic competence can be acquired despite the degeneracy, finiteness, and deficiency of the environmental stimulus, and it characterizes those innate aspects of the mind which enable a child to develop into a native speaker.

In eight chapters it investigates the issue of pronoun binding, relative quantifier scope, the treatment of definite descriptions, as well as more technical issues in current theoretical linguistics.

A Bradford Book.

Titles by This Editor

The essays in this book present explicit syntactic analyses that adhere to programmatic minimalist guidelines. Thus they show how the guiding ideas of minimalism can shape the construction of a new, more explanatory theory of the syntactic component of the human language faculty.

Contributors: Zeljko Boskovic, Samuel David Epstein, Robert Freidin, Erich M. Groat, Norbert Hornstein, Hisatsugu Kitahara, Howard Lasnik, Roger Martin, Jairo Nunes, Norvin Richards, Juan Uriagereka, Amy Weinberg

Current Studies in Linguistics No. 32