Structuring Sense: Volume III: Taking Form

Paperback | October 23, 2013

byHagit Borer

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Structuring Sense explores the difference between words however defined and structures however constructed. It sets out to demonstrate over three volumes that the explanation of linguistic competence should be shifted from lexical entry to syntactic structure, from memory of words tomanipulation of rules. Its reformulation of how grammar and lexicon interact has profound implications for linguistic, philosophical, and psychological theories about human mind and language. Hagit Borer departs from language specific constructional approaches and from lexicalist approaches to argue that universal hierarchical structures determine interpretation, and that language variation emerges from the morphological and phonological properties of inflectional material.Taking Form, the third and final volume of Structuring Sense, applies this radical approach to the construction of complex words. Integrating research in syntax and morphology, the author develops a new model of word formation, arguing that on the one hand the basic building blocks of language arerigid semantic and syntactic functions, while on the other hand they are roots, which in themselves are but packets of phonological information, and are devoid of both meaning and grammatical properties of any kind. Within such a model, syntactic category, syntactic selection and argument structureare all mediated through syntactic structures projected from rigid functions, or alternatively, constructed through general combinatorial principles of syntax, such as Chomsky's Merge. The meaning of 'words', in turn, does not involve the existence of lexemes, but rather the matching of a well-defined and phonologically articulated syntactic domain with conceptual Content, itself outside the domain of language as such. In a departure from most current models of syntax but in linewith many philosophical traditions, then, the Exo-Skeletal model partitions 'meaning' into formal functions, on the one hand, and Content, on the other hand. While the former are read off syntactico-semantic structures as is usually assumed, Content is crucially read off syntactico-phonologicalstructures.

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Structuring Sense explores the difference between words however defined and structures however constructed. It sets out to demonstrate over three volumes that the explanation of linguistic competence should be shifted from lexical entry to syntactic structure, from memory of words tomanipulation of rules. Its reformulation of how gramm...

Hagit Borer is a Professor of Linguistics at Queen Mary, University of London. Prior to that, she held positions at the University of Southern California and at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her main research focuses on the interaction between syntactic structure and word structure, an area that she has pursued from a sy...

other books by Hagit Borer

Format:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.07 inPublished:October 23, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199263949

ISBN - 13:9780199263943

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Table of Contents

Contents to Volumes I and II1. Introduction - Words? What Words?Part I: The Syntax of Derived Nominals2. Introduction3. Embedding Syntactic Events Within Nominals4. AS-Nominals and AS-Nominalizers5. Event Structure in Short Nominals, the Passive ParadigmPart II: Taking Form6. The Skeleton7. Categorizing Roots8. Taking Root9. Structuring Content10. Taking Form by Phase11. Semitic Verbal Derivatives - a Prolegomena12. Synthetic Compounds13. ConclusionReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Hagit Borer's two volumes are a truly impressive achievement. She develops an original and careful theoretical framework, with far-reaching implications, as she describes. And she applies it in what have traditionally, and plausibly, been the two major domains of language: nominals andpredication (event structure). The application is deeply informed and scrupulously executed, as well as remarkably comprehensive, covering a wide range of typologically different languages, and with much new material. No less valuable is her careful critical review of the rich literature on thesetopics, drawing from it where appropriate, identifying problems and developing alternatives within the general framework she has developed. These are sure to become basic sources for further inquiry into the fundamental issues she explores with such insight and understanding." --Noam Chomsky