MODERN LINGUISTIC THEORY AS THE TOWER OF BABEL (CAN NUMEROUS ANTAGONISTIC LINGUISTIC THEORIES PEACEFULLY COEXIST)
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MODERN LINGUISTIC THEORY AS THE TOWER OF BABEL (CAN NUMEROUS ANTAGONISTIC LINGUISTIC THEORIES PEACEFULLY COEXIST)
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PII
S241377150000616-0-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Pages
3-22
Abstract
The article discusses a characteristic feature of modern theoretical linguistics: simultaneous existence and independent development of a number of contradictory linguistic theories. We illustrate this thesis by juxtaposing the theories of N. Chomsky, R. Jackendoff, I. Mel'čuk, A. Wierzbicka, J. Lakoff and others. This analysis reveals their antagonism in different aspects: in relation to the role of language in cognition, the modular character of language, the structure of expressions, the nature of linguistic meanings etc. (sections 1 and 2 of the article). A similar picture can be observed if we compare the descriptions of the main components of the language – lexis, grammar and interface, which links them (section 3). We also show that the explosion of the whole number of incompatible linguistic theories in the second half of the 20 th century attests to the growing crisis of theoretical linguistics. However, neither scientific discussions, nor the application of the methodology proper to the Natural Sciences, nor the interdisciplinary approach can bring together the positions of different linguistic schools (sections 4, 5). In conclusion (section 6), we: (a) discuss the reasons of the crisis; (b) offer a possible solution by setting forth a general (synthetic) theory, which takes into account the totality of the most important language properties (which are listed) and, hence, is capable of assuring the consensus in the linguistic community.
Keywords
linguistic theory, antagonism of linguistic frameworks, crisis of linguistics, linguistics of the XX century, general linguistic theory, diachrony, lexical semantics, lexical polysemy, neurosemantics
Date of publication
01.11.2013
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