The Linguistics Wars

Harris Randy Allen, 2021. The Linguistics Wars. Chomsky, Lakoff, and the Battle over Deep Structure. Second edition. Oxford : Oxford University Press. 568 p. ISBN : 9780199740338

An updated and expanded history of the field of linguistics from the 1950s to the current day

The Linguistics Wars tells the tumultuous history of language and cognition studies from the rise of Noam Chomsky’s Transformational Grammar to the current day. Focusing on the rupture that split the field between Chomsky’s structuralist vision and George Lakoff’s meaning-driven theories, Randy Allen Harris portrays the extraordinary personalities that were central to the dispute and its aftermath, alongside the data, technical developments, and social currents that fueled the unfolding and expanding schism. This new edition, updated to cover the more than twenty-five years since its original publication and to trace the impact of that schism on the shape of linguistics in the twenty-first century, is essential reading for all those interested in the study of language, the making of knowledge, and some of the most brilliant minds of our era.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Language, Thought, and the Linguistics Wars
Chapter Two: The Beauty of Deep Structure
Chapter Three: Generative Semantics 1: The Model
Chapter Four: Generative Semantics 2: The Heresy
Chapter Five: The Vicissitudes of War
Chapter Six: Generative Semantics 3: The Ethos
Chapter Seven: Generative Semantics 4: The Collapse
Chapter Eight: Twentieth Century Linguistics at Closing Time
Chapter Nine: The Aftermath: 21st Century Linguistics
Chapter Ten: Chomsky Agonistes
Glossary
Works Cited

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