Nature and Culture in Language = Syntax and Lexicon in Languages: Trying to reconcile an old controversy in the theory of language
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/004433
This contribution identifies a clue that might lead us towards a better understanding of how the weight of natural and cultural factors is distributed in the design of human languages. First, I propose a specific model of the relationship between lexicon and syntax in human language. This model allows us to use the strategy of correlating the general question of what is natural and what is cultural in language with the nature of the various components that make up a language. Thus, I propose the following correlation: the cultural dimension of language would be expressed essentially in the lexical component of languages, while the biological/natural dimension is expressed in the syntactic component. Such a strategy also makes it possible to better understand why different traditions in contemporary linguistic theory arrive at such different assessments of the role of natural factors in language design.
|Format:||[ pdf ]|
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|keywords:||biology of language, biolinguistics, lexicon, syntax, nature/nurture debate, syntax, phonology, semantics, morphology|