Skeptical Linguistic Essays by Paul M. PostalSkeptical Linguistic Essays by Paul M. Postal

Skeptical Linguistic Essays

byPaul M. Postal

Paperback | January 12, 2004

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This volume consists of an introduction and two groups of essays by Paul M. Postal, each with a connecting theme. The first, positive group of papers, contains five previously unpublished studies of English syntax. These include a long study of so-called "locative inversion," twoinvestigations related to raising to non-subject status, an argument for the existence of a hitherto ignored nominal grammatical category and a study of vulgar negative polarity items. Each investigation of specific English details is argued to have significant theoretical consequences. The second,negative group of papers, contains seven essays each of which seeks to show that aspects of contemporary linguistic activity are in part contaminated by elements of what is called "junk linguistics." Postal uses the term to denote work which advances proposals, puts forward claims and asserts deepresults which, he argues, can only be accepted by ignoring serious standards of inquiry and scholarship. Postal claims that much of this work is nonetheless currently considered not only serious but prestigious reveals the problem to exist at the core of the field, not its periphery. These chaptersinclude documentation of "junk linguistic" aspects in National Science Foundation refereeing, work on the foundations of linguistics, and even in widespread terminological usages. The final chapter briefly lists personal suggestions for dealing with this problem.
Paul Postal is a Research Professor of Linguistics at New York University. His specialties are syntactic theory, English syntax, and the foundations of linguistics. He previously taught at MIT and the City University of New York, and is the author of twelve previous books and dozens of articles on linguistics.
Title:Skeptical Linguistic EssaysFormat:PaperbackDimensions:424 pages, 6.1 × 9.02 × 1.3 inPublished:January 12, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019516671X

ISBN - 13:9780195166712

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Studies in Linguistics1. A Paradox in English Syntax2. A Putatively Banned Type of Raising3. A New Raising Mystery4. Chromaticity: An Overlooked English Grammatical Category Distinction5. The Structure of One Type of American English Vulgar Minimizer6. The Openness of Natural LanguagesPart II: Studies of Junk Linguistics7. Junk Syntax 1: A Supposed Account of Strong Crossover Effects8. Junk Syntax 2: "There Remain a Few As Yet Unexplained Exceptions"9. Junk Ethics 1: Advances in Linguistic Rhetoric10. Junk Refereeing: Our Tax Dollars at Work11. Junk Ethics 2: The Most Irresponsible Passage12. Junk Reasoning 1: If It Doesn't Follow Automatically, Then It's Pretty Much Got to at Least Virtually Follow, and If Not, Don't Worry; It Is Still Unquestionably Natural13. Junk Reasoning 2: '(Virtually) Conceptually Necessary'14. Junk Linguistics: The Bottom LineNotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This book is a goldmine for advanced students in syntax... I take Postal's advice to students to my heart; Beware, be sceptical."--Fredrik Heinat, Linguist List 15.1893