Matthew Dryer is a fantastic scholar & linguist and his methodology and theoretical framework tends to be the most accessible for the non-linguist to understand without buying a big dictionary for definition technical gibberish.
Read about it: HERE.
The paragraph that made me laugh:
Basic linguistic theory has also been influenced to a certain extent by generative grammar, though the influence has primarily been from early generative grammar (before 1970) and is often indirect. The influence largely reflects the fact that early generative grammar examined many aspects of the syntax of English in great detail, and the insights of that research have influenced how basic linguistic theory looks at the syntax of other languages, especially in terms of how one can argue for particular analyses. The influence of generative grammar can be seen in the way that certain constructions in other languages are identified and characterized in ways reminiscent of constructions in English, from cleft constructions to “topicalizations” to reflexive constructions. More recent work in generative grammar, especially Government-Binding Theory, has had essentially no impact on basic linguistic theory (my emphasis).
In other news, I just discovered (via Matthew Dryer’s homepage) that the World Atlas of Language Structures is available for free online: http://wals.info/
I’ve held this book in my hands. It’s amazing. And having a $600 (retail) book available for free online is awesome.