Challenging Chomsky: The Generative Garden Game

  • Publish Date: 1989-09-13
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Rudolf P. Botha
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Challenging Chomsky tells two interwoven tales: a sober story about the foundations of Chomskyan linguistics and a satirical saga of the dozens of duels that have been fought over them. The sober story clears up close to one hundred of the conceptual distinctions that go to make up these foundations. And as it shows how the distinctions hang together, it spells out where Chomskyan linguistics fits into the larger domain of the study of language, what are Chomsky's basic beliefs and leading ideas about language and the mind, what are the that the metascientific principles and practices of Chomskyan linguistics, and how Chomskyan linguistics is linked to philosophy and mathematics and to psychology, biology and the natural sciences generally. At the same time, the story tells how Chomsky has changed the conceptual foundations of his linguistics over the years. The satirical saga describes the substance, history, logic and rhetoric of the major controversies that have raged over the foundations of Chomskyan linguistics. Its bconceptual distinctions are here mapped out as the forks of an intricate maze - The Garden - in which scholars from far and wide have chosen to challenge Chomsky - The Master - at a gladiatorial game. The reader is taken on a tour through The Garden and is introduced to a procession of Possessed Players, their militant moves and maneuvers, their poison passions, and the flops and follies for which they have gone down in The Annals of The Game. And as a Fledgling Fighter, the reader is primed in the principles and pragmatics of that perilous pursuit, The Garden Game. Above all, the reader is unable to observe the Marshall might with which The Master minds his magnificent maze.