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What is the role of meaning in linguistic theory? Generative linguists have severely limited its influence while cognitivist and functionalist linguists believe that meaning pervades and motivates all levels of linguistic structure. This dispute can now be resolved conclusively by evidence from signed language. Language from the Body rebuts the generativist linguistic theories that separate form and meaning and asserts that iconicity can only be described in a cognitivist framework where meaning can influence form.
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