Chomsky's Linguistics

Special edition collected works of Noam ChomskyEditors: Peter Graff, Coppe van Urk (2012)

Hardcover: 720 pages (black and white), blue cloth cover, with full color dust jacket, ISBN-10: 0615567126, ISBN-13: 978-0615567129

for $98.95 x

One of the oldest and most storied linguistics programs in the United States is turning 50. In commemoration of this anniversary, MIT Working Papers in Linguistics has published a collection of the writings of Noam Chomsky entitled Chomsky's Linguistics. Chomsky's Linguistics chronicles some of the most important research in generative linguistics by one of the field's most influential scholars. The eleven papers contained in this volume, which also includes a new foreward by the author, cover a period of over 35 years of linguistic research. From the seminal investigation of the relationship between syntax and the lexicon in “Remarks on Nominalization” (1970) to the recent theory of syntactic derivation outlined in “On Phases” (2006), the topics covered by these papers provide insight into some of the most longstanding questions in linguistic theory. The works presented in this volume have inspired generations of researchers, and formed the foundation of much work in linguistics today.

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, and political scientist. He is an Institute Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT, where he has taught for more than 55 years. He was born on December 7, 1928 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His undergraduate and graduate years were spent at the University of Pennsylvania where he received his Ph.D. in linguistics in 1955. During the years 1951 to 1955, Chomsky was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. There, he completed his doctoral dissertation, entitled "Transformational Analysis." The major theoretical insights of the dissertation appeared in the monograph Syntactic Structures, which was published in 1957. This formed part of a more extensive work, The Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory, circulated in mimeograph in 1955 and published in 1975. Chomsky joined the staff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1955 and in 1961 was appointed full professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics (now the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.) From 1966 to 1976 he held the Ferrari P. Ward Professorship of Modern Languages and Linguistics. In 1976 he was appointed Institute Professor. He is the author of numerous articles and over 100 books. For his profound impact on our understanding of human language, Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics".

Undoubtedly, Chomsky's most notable contribution to linguistics, the scientific study of language, were the notions of generative grammar and Universal Grammar. Generative grammars provide a set of rules that can accurately predict which combinations of words are able to make all of the possibly infinite grammatically correct sentences of a language, and rule out all the ungrammatical sentences. Chomsky contended, contra the radical Behaviorism of Skinner, that given the near infinite number of possible well-formed combinations of words in a given language, it would be impossible for a child to learn them through rote memorization. Instead, he proposed that all languages share common underlying principles which vary in systematic ways from language to language. Humans, he claimed, have a language faculty hardwired in the brain making us tacitly aware of these principles. Thus, to learn a language is too learn how that language implements the underlying principles of all languages.

アメリカで最も歴史があり、最も語り継がれてきた言語学プログラムの一つが50年目を迎えることになりました。これを記念して、MIT Working Papers in Linguisticsは『Chomsky’s Linguistics』と題したノーム チョムスキー氏による著作集を出版することになりました。本作集では生成言語学の分野において絶大な影響を与えてきたチョムスキー氏によって書かれた重要研究論文をいくつかピックアップして年代順に纏めました。本書は11本の論文に加え、著者による新たなはしがきも収録し、35年以上に渡る言語学研究の時代を網羅しています。“Remarks on Nominalization” (1970)における統語部門と語彙部門との関連性を探った非常に影響力のある研究から、“On Phases” (2006)で展開されている最近の統語派生の理論までを網羅したトピックは言語理論において長年問われ続けてきたいくつかの問題に知見を与えることになるでしょう。本書に収録されている研究は何世代もの研究者を鼓舞し続けてきたものであり、今日の言語学の多くの研究の礎を築いてきました。

著者について

ノーム チョムスキー氏はアメリカ合衆国の言語学者であり、哲学者であり、また政治学者でもある。マサチューセッツ工科大学(MIT)言語・哲学科 (the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy)のインスティテュートプロフェッサー(Institute Professor)兼名誉教授として、MITでは55年以上教鞭をとっている。チョムスキーは1928年12月7日にペンシルバニア州フィラデルフィアで生まれる。学部、大学院時代をペンシルバニア大学で過ごし、1955年に言語学博士号を取得した。1951年から1955年の間は、ハーバード大学でジュニアフェロー(Junior Fellow)を務める。ハーバード大学では『Transformational Analysis』と題した博士論文を書き上げた。当該博士論文の重要な理論的洞察は1957年出版のモノグラフ『Syntactic Structures』に収録された。そしてこれがさらなる広範研究である『The Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory』の一部となり、1955年には謄写版として出回り、1975年に出版された。チョムスキーは1955年にマサチューセッツ工科大学にスタッフとして加わり、1961年、現代言語・言語学学科(the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics、現在の言語・哲学科)の教授に就任した。1966年から1976年の間、the Ferrari P. Ward Professorship of Modern Languages and Linguisticsを与えられた。1976年にはインスティテュートプロフェッサーに就任した。数多くの論文と100冊を越える著書を持つ。人間言語の理解に多大な影響を与えた功績から、チョムスキーは「現代言語学の父」として称されている。

チョムスキーの言語学への貢献

ことばの科学的研究である言語学へのチョムスキーの最大の貢献は言うまでもなく、生成文法と普遍文法の概念を生み出したことである。生成文法とは、語と語がどのように組み合わさって無限の文法的な文を生み出すかを正確に予測し、尚かつ非文法的な文をすべて排除できるような規則の集合体である。スキナー(Skinner)の急進的行動主義に反してチョムスキーは、一つの言語をみても語の可能かつ適格な組み合わせは無限に近い数があることを踏まえると、子供がこれらの組み合わせを丸暗記することは不可能であると主張した。そこでチョムスキーは、全ての言語は共通の基本原理を共有しており、これらの基本原理は言語間によって体系的に変異するものであると提案した。人間は脳に組み込まれた言語器官を持っており、この言語器官によってわれわれは暗黙のうちに基本原理に気づかされている、とチョムスキー唱える。ゆえに、言語を学ぶということはその言語が全ての言語が有する基本原理をどのように具体化するかを学ぶことであると言える。

Table of Contents

  1. Remarks on Nominalization
  2. Filters and Control (with Howard Lasnik)
  3. A Remark on Contraction (with Howard Lasnik)
  4. On Binding
  5. A Minimalist Program for Linguistic Theory
  6. Bare Phrase Structure
  7. Minimalist Inquiries: The Framework
  8. Derivation by Phase
  9. Beyond Explanatory Adequacy
  10. Three Factors in Language Design
  11. On Phases

Praise for Chomsky's Linguistics

David Crystal

Honorary Professor of Linguistics, Bangor University, and author of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language.

"As I read through the contents of this book, much of my linguistic life flashed before my eyes, and I suspect many linguists will feel the same. It's a splendid way of celebrating a half-century of MIT linguistics."

W. Tecumseh Fitch

Professor of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, and author of The Evolution of Language.

"Noam Chomsky's approach to human language fundamentally changed the face of modern linguistics, and played a central role in the creation of the cognitive sciences. Here, for the first time, many of his most seminal works since 1970 are collected in one volume, revealing both the continuity of Chomsky's fundamental explanatory principles, and a bold willingness to adapt his theories when the data demand it. These papers are by no means of mere historical significance: in many respects they remain relevant at the cutting-edge of linguistics today. Everyone interested in Noam Chomsky's insights into the nature of language will want this book."

Steven Pinker

Harvard College Professor, Harvard University, and author of The Language Instinct and How the Mind Works.

"In addition to being among the world's best-known theoreticians on language and mind and one of its most famous political writers, Noam Chomsky remains, in his ninth decade, the world's most influential practicing linguist. So well-known are his technical papers that linguists routinely invoke them with shorthand and are instantly understood: "Remarks," "OB," "MP." This collection, spanning forty years of papers that have changed the field, is indispensable for any serious student of grammatical theory in the generative framework."

David Poeppel

Professor of Psychology and Neural Science, New York University

The technical as well as the conceptual contributions exemplified in this selection of papers have defined much of the agenda for linguistics as cognitive science as well as deeply influenced how we conceive of and practice psychology and cognitive neuroscience. It is not sufficiently often acknowledged that even rather granular investigations in experimental language research build on many of the ideas that have their origin in the biolinguistic research program championed here. Chomsky’s theoretical proposals - as well as his consistent encouragement to link biological mechanisms with theoretically well motivated and computationally explicit models of language - are the driving force for much modern research on the neurobiology of language, and have also stimulated many other areas of the brain and cognitive sciences. Read these! There exists no collection of articles more important to the study of language as a cognitive system, a foundational part of human biology.

Hilary Putnam

Cogan University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University.

"That everyone interested in linguistics, philosophy of language, the psychology of language use and acquisition, and the conjunctions and disjunctions of these fields must read this book is self evident. Noam Chomsky is clearly the greatest twentieth (and now twenty first) century linguist, and this collection is a wonderful overview of his still developing account of language."

Paul Smolensky

Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University, author of The Harmonic Mind

Noam Chomsky set the agenda for a remarkable new field: the cognitive science of language. It is works like the seminal papers in this volume that have inspired so many of us to devote our careers to the astounding idea that—for carefully selected cognitive domains—the mental can be understood using the same kind of science that we use to understand the physical: formally elegant fundamental principles, from which complex empirical patterns follow with logical necessity.