200 Years of Syntax: A critical survey by Giorgio Graffi PDF

By Giorgio Graffi

ISBN-10: 9027245878

ISBN-13: 9789027245878

This publication argues convincingly opposed to the frequent opinion that only a few syntactic experiences have been conducted earlier than the Fifties. counting on the special research of a big quantity of unique assets, it indicates that syntactic concerns have been in truth rigorously investigated all through either the nineteenth century and through the 1st half the 20 th century. in addition, it illustrates how the large improvement of syntactic study within the final fifty years has already condemned even numerous contemporary principles and analyses to oblivion, and deeply stimulated present learn courses. The wealth of study undertaken over the past centuries is gifted the following in a scientific manner, taking as its place to begin the connection of syntax with psychology all through this era. The severe rules expressed within the textual content are in line with a close representation of different syntactic types and analyses instead of at the polemics among the various faculties.

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According to Schleicher, the opposition noun/verb belongs exclusively to Indo-European languages. This is due to the fact that it is illegitimate "to presume functions where no phonetic form signals their pres­ ence" (Schleicher 1865:502). And since not every language distinguishes THE RISE AND FALL OF 'PSYCFIOLOGISTIC' SYNTAX 31 nouns from verbs morphophonologically, this distinction cannot be assumed to be a universal one. In fact, Schleicher argues, if the functions formally ex­ pressed only in some languages were actually universal, one could expect to find traces of these categories in every language: but this does not happen, as can be easily seen, for example, from the fact that a language like German does not show all the same tense distinctions as Ancient Greek (aorist, imperfect and perfect), or the gender distinctions of Slavic languages (like the one between animate and inanimate within the masculine gender); cf.

Subordinate) of the constituent elements. The three different syntactic rela­ tionships which realize this unity instantiate its 'grammatical forms' (Becker 1841 [1827]: 162-167). 579). Logical form and grammatical form in Becker's sense are not to be equated with 'content side' and 'expression side', respectively. Indeed, it would seem that both lie on the content side and have their own means of ex­ pression: 'logical form' has intonation and word order, 'grammatical form' has inflection. ). Summarizing this discussion, we could say that this complicated hierarchy of entities and planes is a good example of Becker's attitude towards General Grammar.

1 Hegel, Herbart and Humboldt's influence on Steinthal Speaking of an 'original synthesis' may sound a bit strange. However, I think that this is the right way to designate Steinthal's theory of language. In­ deed, it exhibits an entirely particular and innovative look in comparison to the theories which preceded it precisely because of the massive heterogeneity of its sources. This innovative capacity was accorded to Steinthal by many scholars, especially between the end of 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.

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200 Years of Syntax: A critical survey by Giorgio Graffi

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