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Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars (Hardback)
  • Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars (Hardback)
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Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars (Hardback)

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£155.00
Hardback 328 Pages / Published: 04/11/2004
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This book addresses a question fundamental to any discussion of grammatical theory and grammatical variation: to what extent can principles of grammar be explained through language use? John A. Hawkins argues that there is a profound correspondence between performance data and the fixed conventions of grammars. Preferences and patterns found in the one, he shows, are reflected in constraints and variation patterns in the other. The theoretical consequences of the proposed 'performance-grammar correspondence hypothesis' are far-reaching -- for current grammatical formalisms, for the innateness hypothesis, and for psycholinguistic models of performance and learning. Drawing on empirical generalizations and insights from language typology, generative grammar, psycholinguistics, and historical linguistics, Professor Hawkins demonstrates that the assumption that grammars are immune to performance is false.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199252688
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 629 g
Dimensions: 242 x 164 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Jack Hawkins has long been a trail-blazer in the attempt to reconcile the results of formal and functional linguistics. Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars charts new territory in this domain. The book argues persuasively that a small number of performance-based principles combine to account for many grammatical constraints proposed by formal linguists and also explain the origins of numerous typological generalizations discovered by functionalists. * Frederick J. Newmeyer, University of Washington *
Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars is a landmark work, setting a new standard in the study of the relationship between linguistic competence and performance. * Tom Wasow, Stanford University *
Hawkins argues that grammars are profoundly affected by the way humans process language. He develops a simple but elegant theory of performance and grammar by drawing on concepts and data from generative grammar, linguistic typology, experimental psycholinguistics and historical linguistics. In so doing, he also makes a laudable attempt to bridge the schism between the two research traditions in linguistics, the formal and the functional. Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars is a major contribution with far-reaching consequences and implications for many of the fundamental issues in linguistic theory. This is a tremendous piece of scholarship that no linguist can afford to neglect. * Jae Jung Song, University of Otago, New Zealand *

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