There is a lot of significant work on Ancient Greek that came out in the 19th century. Some of it was by native Greek speakers. The challenge is that during that period, the politics of language in Greece was a source of constant debate and argument. Many times the ancient language was used as a... Continue Reading →

Sapir on grammar and grammars

“The habitual association of radical elements, grammatical elements, words, and sentences with concepts or groups of concepts related into wholes is the fact itself of language. It is important to note that there is in all languages a certain randomness of association. Thus, the idea of “hide” may be also expressed by the word “conceal,”... Continue Reading →

A brief history of syntactic theory: Early Chomsky

This is part one of a multi-part series. Part II is: A brief history of syntactic theory: Parallel-contraint based syntax. τυφωθείς εἰς κρίμα ἐμπέσῃ τοῦ διαβόλου What is the structure of a sentence like this? There's a lot going on here. This clause has a pre-verbal participle, followed by a prepositional phrase that is split in... Continue Reading →

Distinguishing Semantics and Pragmatics

What's the difference and how do they relate? Pragmatics is a sort of funny thing. On the one hand, pragmatics is an important subfield in linguistics that produces a valuable research and contributes greatly to our understanding of language. On the other hand, pragmatics probably wouldn't even exist at all as a field if Chomsky had not... Continue Reading →

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