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Hardcover | Out of Print | 261 pp. | 5.25 x 8 in | May 1965 | ISBN: 9780262030113
Paperback | Out of Print | 261 pp. | 5.25 x 8 in | March 1969 | ISBN: 9780262530071
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Aspects of the Theory of Syntax


Beginning in the mid-fifties and emanating largely form MIT, an approach was developed to linguistic theory and to the study of the structure of particular languages that diverges in many respects from modern linguistics. Although this approach is connected to the traditional study of languages, it differs enough in its specific conclusions about the structure and in its specific conclusions about the structure of language to warrant a name, "generative grammar." Various deficiencies have been discovered in the first attempts to formulate a theory of transformational generative grammar and in the descriptive analysis of particular languages that motivated these formulations. At the same time, it has become apparent that these formulations can be extended and deepened.The major purpose of this book is to review these developments and to propose a reformulation of the theory of transformational generative grammar that takes them into account. The emphasis in this study is syntax; semantic and phonological aspects of the language structure are discussed only insofar as they bear on syntactic theory.

About the Author

Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus) at MIT and the author of many influential books on linguistics, including Aspects of the Theory of Syntax and The Minimalist Program, both published by the MIT Press.


“... Chomsky's ideas are not a mere rephrasing or continuation of previous linguistic theories, but constitute a truly fresh and revolutionary approach to the study of language.”—The Modern Language Journal
“It will inevitably dominate linguistic discussion for the next few years... and will be widely discussed... by all those concerned in any way with the investigation of language.”—The Philosophical Quarterly
“...the book certainly is very important and very useful, because it is not only very rich in ideas itself, but because it will also certainly stimulate research of problems which were rather neglected in the past decades.”—Archiv Orientaini
“This book will certainly be essential for an understanding of the structure of language viewed from the syntactic point of view.”—The Review of Metaphysics