Essays on Time-Based Linguistic Analysis

By Charles-James N. Bailey | Go to book overview

GLOSSARY
abnatural (contrasts with connatural) developments those whose cause is sociocommunicational rather than neurobiological. A typical abnatural development is the trend away from synthetic to analytic structures. Abnatural developments often, but not necessarily, reverse the directionality of connatural developments; e.g. recompounding replaces + with a # boundary--the reverse of the connatural development. Abnatural changes are as normal, in a statistical sense, as connatural changes
abstractness one of the most basic issues in linguistic analysis. It is generally agreed that a belch recorded on a tape is of no linguistic relevance, and that we write, for example, [b] for utterances no two of which are identical. One has to go beyond brute fact to linguistic fact. The only question is: how far? The advocates of a timeless 'competence' go vastly beyond what developmentalists consider warranted, relegating to 'performance' many aspects of language data that reflect speakers' linguistic facility. Developmentalists claim that descriptions of the sounds of a language, for example, should be as detailed as explaining and predicting the facts necessitate, i.e. they should include all but predictable universal facts and that sort of variation connected with an abstraction like [b]. Underlying representations, on the other hand, should abstract, over all the variants of a language, all variants that can be naturally assembled in a given polylectal system. By doing this developmentalists avoid the common problem of abstracting too much at the output level and too little at the input level of underlying representations. The problem of absolute abstractness discussed by P. Kiparsky, M. K. Brame, and others is virtually no problem for polylectal analysis, simply because what may be absolutely abstract in one lect is generally not so in all the closely related ones--whose analysis must also be subsumed in the underlying representations of the language as a whole
Aktionsding this term, used by W. Mayerthaler, refers to the ultimate word--a combination of verb, noun, and perhaps adjective--prior to the differentiation of these parts of speech in developed languages
atemporal analysis while static-reist linguists speak of synchronic principles and also of panchronic (universal) principles, their point of view is really atemporal--almost exochronous--since they completely exclude the concept of change, abstracting from time and freezing a single synchronic-idiolectal moment. This sort of linguistics cannot rise to the level of proper explanation and prediction--because such linguists exclude development, which is the basis of the sort of explanation and prediction that theory demands. See also static-reist framework and performance
biternarity this concept involves different arrangements of two items to create a third, pattern principle
connatural developments those caused by our neurobiological equipment without any interference from sociocommunicational functions. Both connatural and abnatural changes are normal, but their efficient causes differ: for connatural change these are neurobiological; sociocommunicational factors are conditional causes of both kinds of

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