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Aspects of the Theory of Syntax

4.7 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262530071
ISBN-10: 0262530074
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  • Aspects of the Theory of Syntax
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Editorial Reviews

Review

... 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.



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 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.



This book will certainly be essential for an understanding of the structure of language viewed from the syntactic point of view.

About the Author

Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus) at MIT and the author of many influential books on linguistics.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: M.I.T. Press (1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262530074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262530071
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Joe from Providence.
I was a linguistics student when this book came out. Students and instructors alike were baffled, spent hours trying to understand it, and loved it or berated it. But no one could remain neutral about Chomsky's Theory of Syntax.
Many years after graduate courses in different linguistic grammars, I picked it up again, and it is a comparatively easy read for present or former lingusitics students.
The initial problem readers encountered was Chomsky's presupposition of a wide knowledge of all aspects of linguistics (and some major theories of learning behavior)-- he presupposes that you have grasped the sources that he either is reacting to or revising: What came before is what forced Chomsky to begin creating his theory of syntax. This is NOT like his later books: this IS syntax, the "technical kind." And that is partially what makes the book so important.
Regardless of your opinion or reaction to this book: NO ONE CAN IGNORE IT, or its effect on linguistics after its publication.
IT IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO READ 'WHAT SOMEONE SAYS CHOMSKY SAID.' Read the original.
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Format: Paperback
Aspects of the Theory of Syntax is the work in which Noam Chomsky first makes known his controversial theories of language. The follow up to his primary work, Syntactic Structures, this work includes the introduction of such concepts as Deep Structure, Universal Grammar, and makes clear the realtionship between grammar and meaning. This is also the work which sparked the "generative semantics" debate that charged all through the 1970's. If you are a linguist, you must read this book. The theory may be outdated, but the history is the real importance. Besides, it's written by Chomsky, so the language is sure to be as powerful as it is clear and concise!
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Format: Paperback
I agree the one star review below is confusing, especially since, if this book is to be attacked, it should be on the basis of the ideas, not the organization. In fact, I think Chomsky's work represents some of the most concise, elegant, and well formulated academic writing I've ever come across; for that reason alone, this book is a classic in the genre. Of course there are certain assumptions on which his theory rests which have since been discredited, but this book is still influential, even within competing linguistic theories, and is very important from a historical perspective. Be forewarned, the text is extremely dense and slow going.
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By A Customer on February 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
It's a little strange to find or place reviews of such a seminal and magisterial work on a commercial web site. Aspects (and Syntactic Structures) essentially created the intellectual space in which linguists have operated for almost half a century. Not reading Aspects is only possible in the way that not reading "Origin of Species" is. An interested reader can certainly learn the same stuff another way -- more easily, in fact -- but when you come to understand it, you will want to get to the source for yourself.
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Format: Paperback
This book covers several aspects that conventional grammar theory fails to explain. As a student of English as a second language, I find his work (on the English language) precise and very instructive.
Since this is a new area of attention for me, which all came to happen when I started to prepare for my grammar section on the GMAT exam, I find his work as linguist, the ultimate piece of knowledge on the field. What I mean is that by reading half of any of his book (on linguistic), you develop a mental picture of his theory. He makes any other books I read on grammar, which are essentially filled with rules, just too limited if you try to find further explanations about the rules. For example, find out why the sentence, "I had a book stolen", can have three meanings (Pg. 21).
Finally, what can we say about the person who questioned Skinner with enough grounds? Some of his other work could be questionable, but he is one of the most influential authors of our times with no doubt. I wish more research and development were possible to actually attain a universal grammar concept.
I mean just check out the book from a public library, or buy it if you are really interested on knowing why we say what we say and giving the proper meaning to words.
My background: I learned English as a Second Language 20 years ago. I have an engineer degree and a Master's, both from a US - tier two - college with a great football team. I am looking forward to an Executive MBA from a tier-one school with a terrible football team. I just got detoured with my study of conventional English grammar. I hope my novice opinion on Dr. Chomsky's work can help you to consider this book.
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Format: Paperback
Avram Noam Chomsky (b. 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator, and outspoken social activist. He is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has written many books, such as Language & Thought, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, Problems of Knowledge and Freedom, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Media Control, etc.

He wrote in the Preface to this 1965 book, “The idea that a language is based on a system of rules determining the interpretation of its infinitely many sentences is by no means novel… Nevertheless, within modern linguistics, it is chiefly within the last few years that fairly substantial attempts have been made to construct explicit generative grammars for particular languages and to explore their consequences… In particular, the central role of grammatical transformations in any empirically questions as to the proper form of the theory of transformational grammar. This monograph is an exploratory study of various problems that have arisen in the course of work on transformational grammar, which is presupposed throughout as a general framework for the discussion.
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