The Reality of Linguistic Rules

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This volume presents a selection of the best papers from the 21st Annual University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Linguistics Symposium. Researchers from linguistics, psychology, computer science, and philosophy, using many different methods and focusing on many different facts of language, addressed the question of the existence of linguistic rules. Are such rules best seen as convenient tools for the description of languages, or are rules actually invoked by individual language users? Perhaps the most serious challenge to date to the linguistic rule is the development of connectionist architecture. Indeed, these systems must be viewed as a serious challenge to the foundations of all of contemporary linguistics. Four broad themes emerged from the Milwaukee conference, corresponding to the four parts of the volume. Part I centers on arguments for the existence of symbolic rules in linguistic competence and performance. Part II contains arguments against symbolic rules, presenting connectionist models and other alternatives to the symbolic paradigm. Parts III and IV take up two issues that are central to a number of language researchers: Language acquisition and learnability, and modularity. These issues are addressed from within both rule-based and non-rule-based perspectives. <i>Contributors</i>: Farrell Ackerman, Michael Barlow, Catherine Best, David Corina, Roberta Corrigan, Kim Daugherty, Bruce Derwing, Jeff Elman, Alice Faber, John Goldsmith, Helen Goodluck, Neil Jacobs, Richard Janda, Brian Joseph, Michael Kac, Alan Kawamoto, Suzanne Kemmer, Susan Lima, Brian MacWhinney, Steven Pinker, Alan Prince, Gerald Sanders, Hinrich Schutze, Mark Seidenberg, Royal Skousen, Nicholas Sobin, Joseph Stemberger, Gregory Stone, Ann Thyme, Robert Van Valin.

Subjects: Functional linguistics; Theoretical linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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