harder at COCO.IHI.KU.DK
Mon Mar 18 15:03:30 UTC 1996
Ahem...I wonder if I might call your attention to:
Functional Semantics. A Theory of Meaning, Structure and
Tense in English. By Peter Harder. Berlin/New York: Mouton de
Gruyter, 1996 (Trends in Linguistics: Studies and Monographs 87.
586 pp, DM 200,-. ISBN 3-11-014941-9).
The book contains an integrated theory of function, cognition and
linguistic structure - illustrated with an account of tense based on the
Beginning with a discussion of the intellectual history of the
concept of meaning, it argues that not only meaning but all the central
concepts of linguistics, including linguistic structure, must be
understood as based on function. It further analyses the fundamental
confusion that underlies some basic notions in the accepted picture of
linguistics, such as the trinity of syntax, semantics and pragmatics, and
suggests a revised view in which the semantic half of syntax has a
central role - from a structural as well as a functional and cognitive
point of view.
In comparing this view of syntax with the mainstream view, it
shows that the Chomskyan view of syntax is the result of a confusion of
metalanguage with object language: like others before him, Chomsky
'discovered' his own descriptive apparatus in the object itself.
The book proposes a general theory of the relation between
functional and cognitive aspects of language, relates the theory to the
evolution of language as well as clause structure, and shows how tense
fits into this picture.
Thank you for allowing your attention to be called! (Peter Harder)
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