Syntax, the branch of linguistics dealing with sentence structure, is today divided into a multitude of individual schools, which often differ radically in their aims and methods. This division is due in part to traditional structuralist and dependency approaches having survived the triumphal march of Generative Grammar from the 1960s, among other things because they have shown themselves to be more useful when it comes to setting up linguistic descriptions which are not solely oriented towards theory. The internal development of Generative Grammar itself, however, has also been responsible for the propagation of different schools, as from an early stage models were developed which were to a greater or lesser extent removed from the Standard Model developed by Chomsky. Other new approaches also evolved which derived their inspiration from the methods and insights of logic, pragmatics and research into language universals, and which were joined by the demand for a functional basis opposed to the generative ideal of an autonomous syntax.
The Handbook attempts to give as comprehensive an account as possible of the various views of what syntax should do and how it should do it; in this endeavour, it not only considers systematic aspects, but also presents a history of syntactic thought from ancient times to the modern versions of the various theories referred to above. In this way, multiple convergences become evident, allowing the reader to decide whether and how the diversity of approaches has led to new syntactic insights. Particular attention has been paid to the various manifestations of Generative Grammar, as it is from here that major impulses proceeded.
Besides documenting the various approaches to syntax, the Handbook aims to present material illustrating the various realisations of syntactic phenomena in the world's languages and showing historical changes in sentence structure. This material also serves to confront the various theoretical models with the complexity of syntactic data.
The authors have endeavoured to write their contributions in an instructive and comprehensible manner so that they also appeal to non-specialist readers. Thus the Handbook addresses not only linguistic scientists, but also other groups who have to deal with syntactic questions in their work, such as psychologists, teachers, IT experts, translators, editors etc.
Publisher: De Gruyter
Number of pages: 623
Weight: 1593 g
Dimensions: 270 x 190 mm