LINGUIST List 15.366

Fri Jan 30 2004

Books: Linguistic Theories: Postal

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  1. jared.wright, Skeptical Linguistic Essays: Postal

Message 1: Skeptical Linguistic Essays: Postal

Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 13:46:32 -0500 (EST)
From: jared.wright <>
Subject: Skeptical Linguistic Essays: Postal

Title: Skeptical Linguistic Essays
Publication Year: 2004
Publisher:	Oxford University Press		 
Book URL: 

Author: Paul M. Postal

Hardback: ISBN: 0195166728, Pages: 424, Price: 85.00
Paperback: ISBN: 019516671X, Pages: 424, Price: 39.95


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group of papers, contains five previously unpublished studies of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," two investigations 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 deep results 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 chapters include 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.

Lingfield(s):	Linguistic Theories

Written In:	English (Language Code: ENG)

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