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Syntactic Structures (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The material can be absorbed *relatively* quickly, for the contents of this short book (culled from lecture notes for undergraduates, but for *Harvard* undergraduates) touch on some fairly abstract and difficult concepts from the formal theory of languages, concepts Chomsky was playing a major role in formulating for all related disciplines at the time. The book begins by studying whether a "finite state machine", a simple automaton which accepts or rejects a proposed formulation based on a simple heuristic, could provide an adequate grammar of a natural language.Read more ›
I learned of Noam Chomsky from reading Steven Pinkleur's, "The Language Instict". He describes Chomsky's work in a much more accessible way, describing a "toy grammar". I've been able to use Pinkleur's toy grammar to analyze German. I use the tree diagrams for sentences, with VP, NP, and PP phrases. It is a great tool for understanding the underlying meaning of sentences.
But Chomsky's work, with all the "X's" and transitive equations is not user friendly... at least to someone on my level.
One must always stand in awe of the fact that this groundbreaking tome was Chomsky's Bachelor thesis. It is intimidating to me and anyone who gets past the first chapter that a college senior produced this astounding labor.He knows his subject and he knows it well.My entire understanding of syntax,surface structure and deep structure of language began from this work.It made the difference in my study of language and helped me grow from instinctive,intuitive knowledge to reasoned thoughtful understanding of how we communicate with our fellow humans.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
chomsky is brilliant. Love thinking my way through this book.Published on July 18, 2014 by William Weir
Chomsky's rationalist perspective and emphasis on the genetic basis of language and learning reduces human behavior to a series of biologically predetermined activities.Published on June 15, 2014 by Ludwig von Mises, Jr.
I would not recommend this book to anyone. Chomsky makes a lot of assertions that are unjustified - "it is obvious that...", and then no proof is offered. Read morePublished on February 19, 2014 by Natan Avram
Whether you love him, hate him or haven't the first clue what he's about, it's hard to deny that Noam Chomsky is *the* father of modern formal linguistics. Read morePublished on April 14, 2013 by Kevin Gillette