LINGUIST List 5.24

Wed 05 Jan 1994

Sum: Grammatical Theories

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  1. Heidi Shetzer, summary: theories of grammar

Message 1: summary: theories of grammar

Date: Wed, 5 Jan 1994 02:34:04 -summary: theories of grammar
From: Heidi Shetzer <>
Subject: summary: theories of grammar

Quite a while back I posted a query asking for alternative theories of
grammar to GB theory. I received quite an overwhelming response.
Following is a summary which includes references (in no particular order).

Thanks to all who responded.

Heidi Shetzer
Division of English as an International Language (DEIL)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


**Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar**
 --Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar/ by Gazdar, Gerald, Ewan Klein,
Geoffrey K. Pullum, and Ivan Sag/ Cambridge MA: Harvard UP/ 1985.
 --Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar: A review article, in _Linguistic
Analysis 16, pp. 123-245.

**Head Driven Phrase Structure Grammar**
 --Information-Based Syntax and Semantics: Vol 1: Fundamentals, CSLI./ by
Carl Pollard and Ivan Sag/ 1987.
 --Forthcoming is Vol. 2

 --Larry Trask recommends the following which attempts to compare GPSG and
HPSG (taken together) with GB:
 --Syntactic Theory: A Unified Approach/ by R.D. Borsley/ Edward Arnold/ 1991.

**Lexical Functional Grammar**
 --Lexical-Functional Grammar: A Formal System for Grammatical
Representation/ by Kaplan, Ronald and Joan Bresnan, in Bresnan, Joan ed.,
 _The Mental Representation of Grammatical Relations/ Cambridge, MA: MIT
Press/ 1982. pp. 173-281.

**Functional Grammar**
 --The Theory of Functional Grammar/ by Simon Dik/ Berlin, De Gruyter/ 1991
 --Functional Grammar/ by Anna Siewierska/ London, Routledge/ 1991

**Role and Reference Grammar**
 --Functional Syntax and Universal Grammar/ by William A. Foley and Robert
Van Valin/ Cambridge: Cambridge UP/ 1984
 --Advances in Role and Reference Grammar/Robert D. Van Valin,
Ed./Amsterdam: John Benjamins/ 1993
 --According to Craig Kopris (U. of Buffalo) "it's a semantically and
pragmatically based functionalist theory, so radically different from
Chomsky's structurally based formal theory. The original developers were
Robert D. Van Valin Jr. and William Foley."

**Systemic Functional Grammar**
 --Introduction to Functional Grammar/ By Michael Halliday/ London, Edward
Arnold/ 1985
 --According to Geert Craps (KU Leuven) "Michael Halliday is a disciple of
Firth's, and his theory is a typical representative of 'European
neo-structuralism' based on Hjelmslew and the Prague School (Jan Firbas,
Frantisek Danes, Joseph Vachek etc..) It is currently being developed in
Australia mainly, but the main work on computational applications of the
theory is done in Germany and the US."
 --According to Paul Black (Northern Territory University) ". . .it's
closely tied to context and social interaction, and designed to cope not
just with sentences but with discourse. It analyses language in terms of
three simultaneous systems, which can be styled as 'language as message'
(i.e. to express ideas). 'language as interaction' (i.e. to related
prople), and 'language as text' - each of these relate to particular
aspects of grammar."
 --An Introduction to Systemic Grammar/ by G.G. Moreley/ Macmillan/ 1985.
 --Systemic Linguistics: Theory and Applications/Batsford/ 1985.
 --Lexicogrammatical Cartography/ by Christian Matthiessen--(available in
mimeographed form at the University of Sidney) Craps suggests to contact
Christian Matthiessen or Jim Martin at the University of Sidney, Australia
for recent developments in Systemic Functional Grammar.

**Relational Grammar**
 --Arc pair grammar/ by David E. Johnson, Paul M. Postal/ Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press/ 1980.
 --Relational Grammar/ by Barry J. Blake/ London; New York: Routledge/ 1990.
 --Studies in Relational Grammar/ ed. David M. Perlmutter/ Chicago:
University of Chicago Press/ 1982.

**Cognitive Grammar (a.k.a. Space Grammar)**
 --Foundations of Cognitive Grammar, Part 1: Theoretical Prerequisites,
Part 2: Descriptive Application/ by Ronald W. Langacker/ Stanford, CA:
Stanford UP/ 1987-1991
 --Linguistic Categorization: Prototypes in Linguistic Theory/ by John R.
Taylor/ Oxford, Clarendon Press/1989.

**Categorial Grammar (and Combinatory Categorial Grammars)**
 --According to Pensalfini (MIT) this "developed out of work by Bar-Hillel,
Lambek, and Montague, championed these days by Mark Steedman amongst
others. . .[it] would appeal to people who are into semantic analyses of
 --Categorial investigations: logical and linguistic aspects of the Lambek
Calculus/ by Michael Moortgat (rest unknown)
 --Categorial Grammar/ ed Wojciech Buszkowski, Witold Marciszewski, and
Johan Van Benthem (rest unknown)
 --Categorial Grammars and Natural language structures/ eds. Richard T.
Oehrle, Emmon Bach, and Deirdre Wheeler/ 1988
 --Categorial Grammars/ by Mary McGee Wood/ Routledge/ 1993

**Autolexical Syntax**
 --Autolexical Syntax: a theory of parallel grammatical representations/by
Jerrold M. Sadock/ Chicago: University of Chicago Press/ 1991.

**Dependency Grammar**
 --Dependency syntax: Theory and Practice/ by Igor A. Melcuk/ Albany:
State University Press of New York/ 1988.
 --Word Grammar/ by Richard A. Hudson/ Oxford, Blackwell/ 1984
 --English Word Grammar/ by Richard A. Hudson/ Oxford, Blackwell/ 1990
 --The Case for Lexicase/ by Stanley Starosta/ London, Pinter/ 1988

There is also a DG discussion network--send a note to Michael Covington at

 --James D. McCawley (UChicago) According to Angus B. Grieve-Smith
(UChicago) McCawley "uses his own brand of highly modified Standard Theory
which he once called 'unsyntax'. . ." A good introduction:
 --Syntatic Phenomena of English/ by James D. McCawley/ Chicago/ 1990.

**Suggested by Dr P Lee (Flinders University) to check out Sapir,
Bloomfield, Whorf, and Hockett**
 --Refurbishing our Foundations/ by Hockett/ 1987--"he looked back over his
very long history of involvement in American linguistics (during which time
he was often seen as a key figure opposed to Chomsky for reasons explained
in his 1968 book "State of the Art", "refurbishing" is a set of reflections
and arguments for a new approach to linguistic study, one which would throw
out many of the things which have been held sacred for decades, if not

**Suggested by Bruce Nevin (location unknown) to check out "the theory of
language and information of Zellig Harris, from whom Chomsky learned about
 --Harris, Zellig S. 1982. _A Grammar of English on Mathematical
Principles_. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
 _____. 1991. _A theory of Language and Information: A Mathematical
approach._ Oxford/NY: Clarendon Press.
 _____. 1988. _Language and Information._ NY: Columbia Univ. Press.
Nevin, Bruce E. 1984. Review of Harris (1982). _Computational
Linguistics_ 10:304.203-211.
 _____. 1993. A minimalist program for linguistics: the work of Zellig
Harris on meaning and information. _Historiographia Linguistica_

**Glossematics ('The Copenhagen School')**
According to Soren Harder (University of Aarhus), it is a "structuralist
tradition from the '40s inspired by Ferdinand de Saussure's 'Cours de
Linguistique Generale'. The main proponent is Louis Hjelmslev, e.g.
'Prolegomena to a theory of language'"
 --Tim Pulju (Rice) also notes: Sydney Lamb's 1966 review Epilegomena to a
Theory of Language, which appeared in the journal of Romance Philology.

According to Tim Pulju (Rice) this was "developed by Kenneth Pike, a
Christian missionary primarily concerned with translating the Bible. .
 .largely descriptive and practical. . .try looking at one of Pike's books,
such as Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structure of Human
Behavior.. ."

**Stratificational Grammar**
According to Tim Pulju (Rice) "developed by. . .Sydney Lamb. An
intellectual descendant of Structuralism and Glossematics. The most
commonly cited text is Lamb 1966, Outline of Stratificational Grammar. .
 .[also] David Lockwood 1972 or 1973, Introduction to Stratificational
Linguistics. . .In the 1960s it was seen as the major alternative to
Chomskyan linguistics, but it lost out and is largely forgotten.
Originally a descriptive theory which divided language into phonological,
grammatical, and semantic levels and used a network notation to diagram
relationships, since the 1970s it has developed (in the work of Lamb, Peter
Reich, and some others) into a cognitive theory of language similar to the
independently developed theories of Ronald Langacker and neural network
people. Unfortunately, no single text describing
cognitive-stratificational theory currently exists, although Lamb is
working on one."

**Other suggested sources**

 --Lectures on contemporary syntactic theories: an introduction to
government-binding theory, generalized phrase structure grammar, and
lexical-functional grammar/ by Peter Sells/ Stanford, CA: Center for the
Study of Language and Information, Stanford University/ 1985

 --Linguistic Theory and Grammatical Description/ by Flip Droste and John E.
Joseph/ Amsterdam, Benjamins/ 1991--According to Geert Craps (D.U. Leuven)
"it contains a rather up to date introduction to Government and Binding
theory, Lexical Functional Grammar (Zaenen and Wescoat), Montague Grammar
(formal semantics), Generalized Phrase-Structure Grammar, Functional
Grammar (Simon Dik), Word Grammar (Richard Hudson), and Cognitive Grammar
(Ron Langacker).

 --A Dictionary of Grammatical Terms in Linguistics/ by R. L. Trask/
Routledge/ 1993

 --A Short History of American Linguistics/ by Tim Pulju/in Historigraphia
Linguistica/ 1991
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