On doing theoretical linguistics: a reply to Haspelmath
David Adger
January 2021

This paper argues, contra Haspelmath 2021, that one can in fact make progress in understanding language in general through analysis of particular languages if one *does* theoretical linguistics. It sketches an understanding of what theoretical linguistics (and in particular theoretical syntax) is, how one does it, and what its merits are. It concludes that Haspelmath 2021 draws its (I argue, erroneous) conclusions because, while it accepts the existence of a natural biological object (the human capacity for language), it cleaves to a fundamentally behaviourist view of what a grammar is a theory of.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005691
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: draft, submitted to Theoretical Linguistics
keywords: language faculty, theory, methodology, natural kinds, syntax
previous versions: v1 [January 2021]
Downloaded:1154 times


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