LINGUISTICS AT LARGE by Noel -- Ed. Minnis


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A group of lectures given last winter in London as an introduction to linguistics and its intellectual bearings on other studies and activities. The introductory lecture by Robins plunges in on quite a demanding level; contributions by Henderson, Lyons and Ullman follow up the topics of grammar, semantics, and phonology, more or less emphasizing the ""transformational"" approach to linguistic structure developed by Chomsky. The philosopher Strawson adds a difficult examination of theories of meaning which ends by rejecting formal semantics with truth conditions divorced front linguistic purpose, the expression of belief. Leach's lecture on language and anthropology sketches the structuralist notion of ""grammars of behavior""; Bernstein discusses language and socialization in terms of roles, speech codes, and family dispositions. Other contributors deal with animal signals, neurology, and child development; among the most interesting and generally accessible pieces is Palmer's on teaching English. The flashiest is Cherry's on language and lextra-linguistics communication, illustrating with math, philosophical pragmatism, the psychology of symbolism, and lots of drawings. Quirk ends the book with a survey of linguistics' practical relation to English usage, both descriptive and normative. For those who want to get beyond behaviorism, or who are willing to tackle a compressed first introduction, this can be a valuable au courant collection.

Pub Date: June 23rd, 1971
Publisher: Viking