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Published: 09 March 1995

368 Pages | 25 illus.

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195098341

Also Available As:


Bookseller Code (04)

The Linguistics Wars

Randy Allen Harris

Since the mid-twentieth century, the field of linguistics has been a tumultuous discipline. The Linguistics Wars tells the story of the acrimonious schism, during the sixties and seventies, that divided the ranks of linguistics after the publication of Noam Chomsky's influental Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. This schism began when some of Chomsky's earliest followers formed a splinter group and began to take Chomsky's ideas in a direction he found uncongenial. Chomsky rejected the extensions these former followers were taking, commencing a decade of infighting that generated a good deal of noise, lasting bitterness, and vast amounts of knowledge in the field. While Chomsky won the battle, the features of generative semantics made their way into other approaches and continue to influence linguistics to this very day. Full of anecdotes and personalities, The Linguistic Wars is not only a riveting narrative of the course of this important intellectual controversy, but a revealing look into how scientists and scholars actually negotiate such theories and approaches.


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