Giorgio Graffi's 200 Years of Syntax: A critical survey PDF

By Giorgio Graffi

ISBN-10: 9027245878

ISBN-13: 9789027245878

This e-book argues convincingly opposed to the common opinion that only a few syntactic reviews have been conducted earlier than the Nineteen Fifties. counting on the special research of a big quantity of unique resources, it exhibits that syntactic concerns have been actually conscientiously investigated all through either the nineteenth century and through the 1st half the 20 th century. furthermore, it illustrates how the large improvement of syntactic study within the final fifty years has already condemned even numerous contemporary principles and analyses to oblivion, and deeply encouraged present examine courses. The wealth of study undertaken during the last centuries is gifted right here in a scientific means, taking as its start line the connection of syntax with psychology all through this era. The serious principles expressed within the textual content are in accordance with an in depth representation of the various syntactic versions and analyses instead of at the polemics among different colleges.

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Extra resources for 200 Years of Syntax: A critical survey

Example text

G. Humboldt (1903-1936 IV[1822]:294): The exactness of thought gains ground if grammatical relationships are exactly matched by logical ones; and the mind is all the more attracted to formal, hence pure, thought if the language makes this familiar with a sharp differentiation of grammatical forms. Humboldt maintains that inflectional languages are those best suited to express these grammatical forms and their relationship to logical ones. This statement is directly connected to his 'syntactically based' view of typology, to which we will return.

The place of the verb in this construc­ tion is obviously not the natural one, since in the sequence of ideas this part of speech is interposed between subject and object. A few pages later (1836:ccclxxviii; 1988:254), however, some interesting ob­ servations on word order can be found, which seem to anticipate Weil's (1879[1844]) work. 4, below. This approach to word order problems is a further example of the wavering between the old and the new which characterizes Humboldt's treatment of syntax.

One has to remember that Pott's polemics against Steinthal is connected to the struggle between the two schol­ ars to achieve the position of the 'rightful heir' of Humboldt. , he charges Steinthal with having abandoned 'Humboldt's sun' to enter 'Herbart's labyrinth' (see Pott 1880a:xxxiii). xliii)". g. lxxix). Pott, anyway, seems to distinguish between what one could call "pure logic" (and he calls "teacher of thought laws") and the "logic of languages". Pott's view of the relationship between them could be summa­ rized with the following passage, which immediately reminds us of Hum­ boldt's positions (see above:21):14 Certainly, the world of sensations and thoughts in general remains identical, or analogous, to itself: hence logic must surely constrain any language to give a linguistic expression, in whatever way, to the notions of space and time for ex­ ample and to the resulting relationships, as well as to most general concepts or categories (in Kant's sense) and to many others of a more subordinate kind.

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200 Years of Syntax: A critical survey by Giorgio Graffi


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