This article was completed while I was Gerard Visiting Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences at Brown University. For comments on earlier drafts I am grateful to Nik Gisborne, Samuel Guttenplan, Robert Levine, Erkki Luuk, Ad Neeleman, Neil Smith, and Becky Williams. Some of the material stems from joint work with James Rogers. A fuller presentation will be provided in Pullum, Rogers and Scholz (forthcoming). Barbara Scholz, to whom I owe a many intellectual debts, would have been a co-author of this article but for her untimely death in May 2011. The article is dedicated to her memory.
The Central Question in Comparative Syntactic Metatheory
Article first published online: 2 SEP 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Mind & Language
Volume 28, Issue 4, pages 492–521, September 2013
How to Cite
PULLUM, G. K. (2013), The Central Question in Comparative Syntactic Metatheory. Mind & Language, 28: 492–521. doi: 10.1111/mila.12029
- Issue published online: 2 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 2 SEP 2013
Two kinds of theoretical framework for syntax are encountered in current linguistics. One emerged from the mathematization of proof theory, and is referred to here as generative-enumerative syntax (GES). A less explored alternative stems from the semantic side of logic, and is here called model-theoretic syntax (MTS). I sketch the outlines of each, and give a capsule summary of some mathematical results pertaining to the latter. I then briefly survey some diverse types of evidence suggesting that in some ways MTS seems better suited to theorizing about the relevant linguistic phenomena.