Antilinguistics: A Critical Assessment of Modern Linguistic by Amorey Gethin

By Amorey Gethin

A learn of ways language and proposal relate to one another within the context of a critique of linguistics. It argues that individuals examine the meanings of items of language by means of gazing how these items are utilized in existence.

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Previous page page_42 next page > < previous page page_43 next page > Page 43 8 John bought a dog with Mary to play with and different again from 9 John bought a dog in spite of Mary to play with and so on. His structural fixation not only leads Chomsky to ignore the key part played by "for"; it also leads him to miss the whole logic of the sentence. All he can see is the sort of clauses he is used to seeing and dividing language up into, in his lifeless, rigidly mechanical analytical way: John bought a dog for Mary / to play with He fails to see that this is not the way English-speakers normally experience this sort of "for" language.

But when it came to describing it they failed to observe their own language properly. < previous page page_36 next page > < previous page page_37 next page > Page 37 Linguists' description of a language is far more complicated than the language itself and much more difficult to understand. At best linguistics is a tortuous coded account of what a language itself tells us much more directly. It does not explain either how or why a language works as it does. It is the equivalent of describing the passage of the apple to the ground without offering any reason why it falls.

Because of the mere accident that "for" and "because'' are in the same 'area' of meaning - while "and" and "but", for example, are not - Chomskyans get excited about them on completely false grounds. Differences in meaning, like those between "for" and "because", may happen, in certain contexts, to result in differences that can be analysed in terms like co-ordinate and subordinate clauses. 1 In the end it is a matter of reality and unreality, of sense and nonsense; the distinctions are rooted there, not in abstractions.

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