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NG1. Why Noam Chomsky should read this blog

56 years is a long time for doing something.  Beethoven’s age at death.  And Hitler’s.  But modern linguistics, born of Chomsky’s Syntactic Structures, is now 57.  Is it also dead or just languishing?  Anyway it hasn’t delivered the killer theory.  OK, there’s a lot else to linguistics but, as Rutherford said, that’s stamp-collecting, not physics. Read more

Tree

NG2. What does sentence structure signify?

This is the first substantive piece for LanguidSlog.  It’s quite short and should be easy for the reader.  Books on syntax typically jump straight into tree diagrams or nested brackets to represent sentence structure.  The graphical conventions are not difficult.  But the purpose of those representations isn’t self-evident.  Let’s look at some issues. Read more

Phrenology head for architecture

NG5. Mental architecture

Transient-items-with-pointers (from the analogy with computer software in the last piece) would be a blatant straw-man if it misrepresented existing theories.  But no theory really explains how sentence structure is implemented and, in this piece, knocking down the idea is perfectly legitimate. Read more

NG7x. Comments on NG7

This unscheduled post contains my responses to several points in a comment on NG7 by HK.  I’ve also included responses to points about anaphor binding and agreement in an earlier comment on NG6 by HK.

Answering some of the points needed a wider range of formatting options than I’ve been able to get for comments from the WordPress software.  (If anyone knows better, please let me know.)  Therefore this is a separate post. Read more