- Paperback: 120 pages
- Publisher: Martino Fine Books (March 27, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1614278040
- ISBN-13: 978-1614278047
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Chomsky's book on syntactic structures is one of the first serious attempts on the part of a linguist to construct within the tradition of scientific theory-construction a comprehensive theory of language which may be understood in the same sense that a chemical, biological theory is ordinarily understood by experts in those fields. It is not a mere reorganization of the data into a new kind of library catalog, nor another speculative philosophy about the nature of Man and Language, but rather a rigorous explication of our intuitions about our language in terms of an overt axiom system, the theorems derivable from it, explicit results which may be compared with new data and other intuitions, all based plainly on an overt theory of the internal structure of languages; and it may well provide an opportunity for the application of explicit measures of simplicity to decide preference of one form over another form of grammar."Robert B. Lees in: 'Language' "I had already decided I wanted to be a linguist when I discovered this book. But it is unlikely that I would have stayed in the field without it. It has been the single most inspiring book on linguistics in my whole career." HenkvanRiemsdijk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Noam Chomsky is Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. David W. Lightfoot is Professor at Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
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. If you have taken a CS class in the theory of computation, you will instantly recognize a "finite state automaton", and will already know that the *regular* languages it "accepts" are relatively poor: it does not provide enough structure to model a *computer* language, and Chomsky quickly rejects this seemingly plausible "cybernetic" model of language.
The "phrase structure grammar" a la rules of the type "S = N + VP" which he goes on to introduce in the next sections is equivalent to the CS model for "context-free languages". This *is* rich enough to describe normal programming languages, and Chomsky demonstrates that it does quite a bit more in accounting for grammatical structure in natural language. *Not* enough, though, for there are many grammatical relationships between sentences (active and passive voices, statements and "Wh-questions") which context-free grammars cannot easily account for. Chomsky thusly develops a third model of grammar, "transformational grammar", which has rules for systematically deriving "John was hit by the ball" from "The ball hit John" and the like. This would be the dominant paradigm in linguistic syntax for the rest of the century.
This "Second Edition" includes no new matter in the body of the text or footnotes, but I'm sure Mouton de Gruyter produces much nicer books than the Identipublisher reissuing a facsimile of the original edition. Furthermore, this slightly more expensive version includes an introduction by David Lightfoot which explains where Chomskyan linguistics would go from there (Unfortunately, I feel an opportunity has been missed to explore the relationship of Chomsky's thinking at this time to Harvard analytic philosophers like Quine and Nelson Goodman, whom Chomsky had recently been interacting with as a Junior Fellow and who are cited as important influences in Chomsky's methodological chapters.) Still important reading for linguists in training - and who's not one of those?
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.