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Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars

Hawkins, John

Published by Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0199252688 / ISBN 13: 9780199252688
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New


Num Pages: 328 pages, numerous tables. BIC Classification: CFK. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 243 x 165 x 24. Weight in Grams: 628. . 2005. 1st Edition. Hardcover. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780199252688

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Synopsis: This book addresses a question fundamental to any discussion of grammatical theory and grammatical variation: to what extent can principles of grammar be explained through language use? John A. Hawkins argues that there is a profound correspondence between performance data and the fixed conventions of grammars. Preferences and patterns found in the one, he shows, are reflected in constraints and variation patterns in the other. The theoretical consequences of the proposed 'performance-grammar correspondence hypothesis' are far-reaching -- for current grammatical formalisms, for the innateness hypothesis, and for psycholinguistic models of performance and learning. Drawing on empirical generalizations and insights from language typology, generative grammar, psycholinguistics, and historical linguistics, Professor Hawkins demonstrates that the assumption that grammars are immune to performance is false.

Product Description: John Hawkins demonstrates a clear link between how languages are used and the conventions of their grammars. He sets out a theory in which performance shapes grammars and accounts for the variation patterns found in the world's languages. He backs this up with evidence from a wide array of languages. He also considers the profound consequences of this correspondence for explanations of language change and evolution, and for models of performance and acquisition. His book is of fundamental importance for linguistic theory.

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