A Survey of Linguistic Theories

Edmondson, Jerold A. and Donald A. Burquest

This book is designed as a textbook and is intended to present a sample of the more popular approaches to linguistic theorizing.

It covers different aspects of each theory including general ontology, methodology, world view, and certain specifics including its problem-solving capacity regarding the English auxiliary complex. It gives a brief summary of the salient points of each theory and concludes with a brief treatment of concurrent developments in phonology. Included are discussions on

  • tagmemics
  • generative transformational grammar
  • stratificational linguistics
  • Montague grammar
  • generalized phrase structure grammar
  • lexical-functional grammar
  • relational grammar, and
  • functional approaches to grammar

Professor Jerold A. Edmondson has extensive experience as a field linguist in China, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and Viet Nam. He served as Chairman of the Linguistics Department of the University of Texas at Arlington and is a specialist in Southeast Asian languages. He is also the coauthor of these books Comparative Kadai: Linguistic Studies beyond Tai (1989), Comparative Kadai: The Tai Branch (1997), and numerous articles.

Donald Burquest is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Arlington and an International Linguistic Consultant with SIL International. He did fieldwork in Nigeria on the Ngas language and was involved in a language project completed in 1977. He received a Ph.D. in Linguistics from UCLA in 1973. He is the author of Phonological Analysis: A Functional Approach, 3rd edition, and numerous articles. He is also the coauthor of these books Phonological Studies in Four Languages of Maluku.

Table of Contents:

Abbreviations and Symbols
Preface to the Third Edition

  1. Linguistic Theorizing
  2. 1.1 Of surveys and theories
    1.2 Scientific progress and the logic of research
    1.3 A brief history of the axiomatization of mathematics
    1.4 Chomsky’s definition of a grammar
    1.5 Linguistics: A natural science, a social science, or a human science?
    1.6 Verbal and nonverbal behavior, a unity?
    1.7 Formal versus functional models

  3. The Aspects Model
  4. 2.1 Worldview
    2.2 Ontological primitives
    2.3 Methodology
    2.4 The specific assumptions of the Aspects model
    2.5 The problem-solving capacity of GTG
    2.6 The AFFIX-HOPPING transformation
    2.7 The D -SUPPORT transformation
    2.8 Generative transformational theorizing

  5. Tagmemic
  6. 3.1 Introduction
    3.2 General ontology, methodology, and worldview
    3.3 The specific assumptions of the tagmemic model in Pike and Pike (1982)
    3.4 The specific assumptions of the tagmemic model of Longacre (1983)
    3.5 The problem-solving capacity of Tagmemics
    3.6 New developments
    3.7 Tagmemic theorizing

  7. Stratificational Linguistics
  8. 4.1 Introduction
    4.2 General ontology, methodology, and worldview
    4.3 The specific assumptions of Lamb’s Outline model (1966)
    4.4 Fleming’s Communcation Analysis (1988 and 1990)
    4.5 The problem-solving capacity of stratificational grammar
    4.6 Stratificational theorizing

  9. The Great GTG Schism
  10. 5.1 Introduction
    5.2 General ontology, methodology, and worldview (EST, REST, P&P)
    5.3 General ontology, methodology, and worldview of generative semantics
    5.4 Specific developments in EST, REST, and P&P after 1970

  11. Lexical-Functional Grammar
  12. 6.1 Introduction
    6.2 General ontology, methodology, and worldview of LFG
    6.3 The problem-solving capacity of LFG
    6.4 LFG Theorizing

  13. Montague Grammar and Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar
  14. 7.1 General ontology, methodology, and worldview
    7.2 Specific assumptions and problem-solving capacity of Montague Grammar
    7.3 Generalized phrase structure grammar
    7.4 Conjunction
    7.5 Dominance/linear precedence and language typologies
    7.6 GPSG theorizing

  15. Relational Grammar
  16. 8.1 Introduction to Relational Grammar (RG)
    8.2 General ontology, methodology, and worldview
    8.3 Problem solving in RG
    8.4 Mapping theory
    8.5 Relational grammar theorizing

  17. Functional Models of Grammar
  18. 9.1 Introduction
    9.2 Functional Typological Grammar
    9.3 Emergent Grammar
    9.4 The formative role of language in the social context
    9.5 The formative role of the sign user in language
    9.6 Functionalist theorizing


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Third Edition
xiii, 259 pages
Linguistic theory
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ISBN 10:
6 × 9 × 0.57 in
1.1 lb
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