Meaning and the Lexicon: The Parallel Architecture 1975-2010

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9780199568888: Meaning and the Lexicon: The Parallel Architecture 1975-2010

Meaning and the Lexicon brings together 35 years of pathbreaking work on language by Ray Jackendoff. It traces the development of his Parallel Architecture, in which phonology, syntax, and semantics are independent generative components, and in which knowledge of language consists of a repertoire of stored structures. Some of these structures, such as words and morphemes, are idiosyncratic mappings between phonology, syntax, and meaning; some, such as idioms, attach meaning to larger syntactic structures; other structures are purely syntactic or morphosyntactic; and yet others are pieces of meaning with no syntactic or phonological form. The Parallel Architecture also seeks to explain and understand how language is integrated with human cognition, particularly with vision.

Professor Jackendoff examines inherently meaningful syntactic constructions, incorporating insights from Construction Grammar; and he looks at how aspects of meaning can be unexpressed but nevertheless understood, integrating approaches from Generative Lexicon theory. A recurring focus is the balance in grammar between idiosyncrasy, regularity, and semiregularity. The chapters cover a wide range of phenomena, from well-studied domains such as the mass-count distinction, event structure, resultatives, and noun-noun compounds, to offbeat aspects of English grammar such as the time-away construction (We're twistin' the night away), contrastive focus reduplication (Do you LIKE-him-like him?) and the noun-preposition-noun construction (week after week).

Ray Jackendoff draws on work in a wide range of fields, including linguistics, cognitive science, and philosophy. His writing combines depth of thought with clarity and wit. Meaning and the Lexicon will be read and enjoyed by linguists of all theoretical persuasions, and will be of great interest to cognitive scientists, philosophers, and anyone interested in how language operates in the mind, brain, and human communication.

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About the Author:


Ray Jackendoff is Seth Merrin Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He is a member of the External Faculty of the Santa Fe institute, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a former president of both the Linguistic Society of America and the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. His books include Semantics and Cognition (MIT 1972), Consciousness and the Computational Mind (MIT 1987), The Architecture of the Language Faculty (MIT 1995), Foundations of Language (OUP 2002), Simpler Syntax (co-authored with Peter Culicover) (OUP 2005), and Language, Consciousness, Culture: Essays on Mental Structure (MIT 2007).

Review:

Review from previous edition: "A masterpiece. The book deserves a wide readership"

--John C. Marshall, Nature

"An excellent overview of the complexities of language"

--New Scientist

"His breadth of knowlede and soundness of judgment, along with just the right amount of adventurousness, make for a book that deserves to be read and reread by anyone seriously interested in the state of the art of research on language."

--Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy, American Scientist, July-August 2002

"Few books really deserve the cliche 'this should be read by every researcher in the field,' but Ray Jackendoff's Foundations of Language does. I think it is the most important book in the sciences of language to have appeared in many years. Jackendoff has long had a genius for seeing both the
forest and the trees, and he puts his gift to good use here in a dazzling combination of theory-building and factual integration. The result is a compelling new view of language and its place in the natural world."

--Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, MIT and author of The Language of Instinct and Words and Rules

"Jackendoff tackles the substantial tasks of assessing where Noam Chomsky's foundation of research has led linguistics and reinterpreting his theory of universal grammar. While embracing many of Chomsky's ideas, Jackendoff proposes his own overall theory of language ... a significant piece of
scholarship and is highly recommended for academic libraries."

--Library Journal (USA)

"Jackendoff's work is a sweeping survey of every major aspect of language and communication ... He counters the belief that language stems from syntactic structure alone"
--Science News (USA) March 2002

"Jackendoff drastically rehauls linguistic theory, thus providing for its natural re-integration with psycholinguistics and the other sister sciences. Foundations of Language is a monumental scholarly achievement, which should be obligatory reading for any psycholinguist."

--Willem J. M. Levelt, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

"Ray Jackendoff, one of the most influential researchers in cognitive science today, offers a clear and engaging analysis of many of the raging controversies in the language sciences. The book offers a point of entry into these issues for neuroscientists, psycholinguists, and philosophers of
language as well as linguists from various generative and cognitive backgrounds. You may not agree with everything he says, but you are bound to appreciate the clarity, precision, depth of analysis, breadth of knowledge and impressive range of data he brings to the debate."

--Adele Goldberg, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois

"Ray Jackendoff's Foundations of Language is a masterpiece. . . . The book deserves to be the reference point for all future theorizing about the language faculty and its interconnections."

--Frederick J. Newmeyer, University of Washington; President of the Linguistic Society of America

"The book is ... a fascinating introduction to the world of linguistics. ... I found the book extremely interesting, captivating and important. If you are not sure about certain basic facts in the research of natural language, read this book. It will provide you with quite an objective view of
the development of the research of language on all aspects."
--Linguist List

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