An Introduction to Word Grammar by Richard Hudson

By Richard Hudson

Observe grammar is a conception of language constitution and is predicated at the assumption that language, and certainly the total of data, is a community, and that almost all of data is realized. It combines the mental insights of cognitive linguistics with the rigour of extra formal theories. This textbook spans a large variety of issues from prototypes, activation and default inheritance to the main points of syntactic, morphological and semantic constitution. It introduces easy rules from cognitive technological know-how and makes use of them to give an explanation for the constitution of language together with a survey of English grammar.

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A pet canary, for example, is a bird, but it’s also a pet, a possession and a potential present to someone. In some households, pets are treated as members of the family rather than as animals; they’re allowed indoors, named, toilettrained, pampered, cared for when sick and mourned when dead. If we think of a human family as a collection of humans, the status of a pet makes it (or him or her) almost human. The same complexity is true of virtually everything you can think of:€ some properties align it with one set of things, and others with another.

A restaurant menu is a taxonomy organized according to course and food type. The files on your computer are organized in a taxonomy of folders organized by file type or topic. A library or a bookshop arranges its books in a taxonomy based on topic, then author. A thesaurus is a taxonomy of words organized by meaning. A guide to wild flowers is a taxonomy of plants organized in a botanical hierarchy. And no doubt there’s even some kind of taxonomy behind the way you arrange things in your bedroom.

They are arranged in a taxonomy in which each concept ‘isA’ at least one more general one; so ‘me’ isA ‘man’ and ‘man’ isA ‘human’. g. ‘flies’ for a bird that is standing still). g. from ‘pet’ as well as from ‘bird’). g. penguins don’t fly), in contrast with classical logic which doesn’t allow exceptions. g. sparrows are more typical birds than penguins are. The same logic applies to all kinds of categories, including social categories, where widely shared prototypes are called ‘stereotypes’ and may carry negative prejudice as well as positive properties.

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