Language as sound with meaning
A dual model of language
This book argues that the language faculty merely consists of the semantic and phonological components and linking between these and other systems. Thus, there is no third intermediate component, narrow syntax, it is argued. Syntax, as a phenomenon, is instead distributed among the semantic and phonological components, the semantic component containing lexical semantics, abstract universal categories, argument structures and information structures and the phonological component containing the concrete assembly of phonological morphemes into words and phonological words into phrases and sentences. Thus, language can be defined as "sound with meaning", as pointed out by Aristotle, "signifier and signified" (Saussure 1916), or more precisely the pair <phonology, semantics> (Chomsky 2004).
The hypothesis is a continuation of the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995), which is a rationalistic and evolutionary enterprise within the framework of Generative Grammar aiming to reduce the machinery assumed to be needed for the language faculty to operate. The hypothesis is also an elaboration of Culicover and Jackendoff’s (2005) theory of a minimal syntactic component and a semantic and a phonological component that also have combinatorial processes. Lastly, it builds further on Stroik and Putnam’s (2013) theory of a syntax that is located in an intersection between the CI- and SM-systems.
ISBN 9783969391327 (Hardbound). LINCOM Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 67. 213 pp. 2022.