"Es is eingewendet worden dass es noch eine andere wissenschaftliche Betrachtung der Sprache gäbe als die geschichtliche. Ich muss das in Abrede stellen." [It has been objected that there is another scientific way of looking at language besides the historical. I have to disagree with that.] Prinzipien der Sprachgeschichte.It has been a matter of principle in modern linguistics -- basically through the whole of the last century and well into this one, to give priority -- to the description of a language as a synchronic system, with lipservice usually to Saussure. Note that the move we have just taken, to focus on lexeme formation as a diachronic process requires a rather radical rethinking of a lot of data and questions. For a similar move in phonology see Juliette Blevins' book on Evolutionary Phonology (Juliette Blevins 2004). So in effect we are removing lexeme-formation from the grammar. Note that this doesn't mean that operations on words (in some other sense, say morphological) are excluded from the grammar. That's still up for grabs, it certainly is required that we modify morphological words for inflections, on at least one way of doing inflectional morphology, my currently favored way, which we will pursue in our next class.
I mean here categories like Root, Stem, Base, Prefix, Suffix, (morphological) Word, etc. We might view these as analogous to the bar-features of X-Bar theories.
It would seem that there is no substantive semantic import to these categories or features that might be used to encode these distinctions. In phrasal syntax as well there is no semantic uniformity associated with similar distinctions (contra Jackendoff, 1977):
Excursus (from Bach, 1994):
There are two ideas about the relationship between syntax and semantics that have been enunciated by works in the tradition of X-Bar syntax. First, the Crosscategorially Uniform Semantic Interpretation Hypothesis (CUSIH) was proposed by Jackendoff (1977, see Williams, 1981): it says that the interpretation of items at a given bar-level will be fixed and independent of the particular category that the item belongs to. So, for example, all lexical items will have interpretations of the same type, since they are all of the bar-level 0. I believe that this idea is best understood (within the present context) as claiming that the semantic operations associated with a particular construction at a given level will be the same across "horizontal" categories. For example, nominal and verbal counterparts will be interpreted as functions taking their complements as arguments, optional elements at level 1 will be interpreted as restrictive modifiers, and so on. We'll return to this question below in the context of comparing the denotations of verbs and nouns. (In Montague grammar and extensions thereof these two examples are both instances of the single semantic operation of functional application.)(On these questions, see now Culicover and Jackendoff 2005.)
Second, within the framework of Relational Grammar it was proposed that there is a uniform mapping from semantic properties of lexical items to the relational structures associated with them in the initial stratum. This Uniform Alignment Hypothesis (Perlmutter and Postal, 1984; Rosen, 1984) was adapted to the X-Bar framework by Baker (1988) and stated in terms of Thematic Roles as the Uniformity of Theta Assignment Hypothesis (UTAH): every lexical item with a given cluster of thematic role assignments will appear in D-Structures of a determined type. This hypothesis seems to be a revival of some form of the hypotheses about the relationship of semantics and syntax associated with the program of Generative Semantics. Unfortunately, it is difficult to test these claims without some explicit semantic theory, so far lacking in both frameworks.
These will be whatever are the analogues to Noun, Intransitive Verb, TV, etc. One view of these is that they are exactly the same as or drawn from the same set as the basic categories of phrasal syntax. I will argue against this view in the subsequent discussion.
|kʷenáaq||mink||√kʷenq||kʷakʷenqʼá||go after mink|
|kʷíkʷenaq||frog||√kʷenq||kʷakʷenqʼá||go after frog|