CSLI Publications logo
new books
knuth books
for authors
CSLI Publications
Facebook CSLI Publications RSS feed
CSLI Publications Newsletter Signup Button
The Nature of Explanation in Linguistic Theory cover

The Nature of Explanation in Linguistic Theory

edited by John Moore and Maria Polinsky

Elegant and parsimonious analyses have been a point of pride among linguists since at least the time of the Neogrammarians. Since Chomsky's (1962) pioneering work on the goals of linguistic theory, this has been subsumed under the rubric of explanation. In addition to describing a set of data, an analysis must also be achieve an explanation of the phenomena (explanatory adequacy, in Chomsky's work). But what precisely renders a linguistic account explanatorily adequate? What are the empirical and theoretical trade-offs that come into play when linguists aim for explanation? These questions are at the core of this volume. Renowned scholars weigh in on the nature on explanation in linguistic theory and suggest answers to these fundamental questions.

John Moore is an associate professor and Maria Polinsky is a professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, San Diego.


  • Contributors
  • Preface
  • 1 Explanations in Linguistics John Moore and Maria Polinsky
  • 2 Exo-Sekeletal vs. Endo-Skeletal Explanations: Syntactic Projections and the Lexicon Hagit Borer
  • 3 On the Notion of ‘Showing Something’ Greg Carlson
  • 4 Linguistic THeory, Explanation and the Dynamics of Laguage Peter W. Clicover, Andrzej Nowak, and Wojciech Borkowski
  • 5 Explaining Infixation John Haiman
  • 6 Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars: Three General Principles John A. Hawkins
  • 7 An Historical Explanation of Some Binding Theoretic Facts in English Edward L. Keenan
  • 8 In Search of the Golden Slash: Prospecting for Biological Explanations of Language Robert Kluender
  • 9 Generative Grammar and Beyond S.-Y. Kuroda
  • 10 Explanation in Cognitive Linguistics and Conginitive Grammar Ronald W. Langacker
  • 11 Meaning, Function, adn Autonomy of Syntax Frederick J. Newmeyer
  • 11 Minimalism and Explanation Robert D. Van Valin, Jr.
  • Index


ISBN (Paperback): 1575864541 (9781575864549)
ISBN (Cloth): 1575864533 (9781575864532)
ISBN (Electronic): 1575869292 (9781575869292)

Add to Cart
View Cart

Check Out

Distributed by the
University of
Chicago Press

pubs @ csli.stanford.edu