Conflict resolution in syntactic theory
The paper investigates conflicts that arise in syntactic description and the resolutions of these conflicts. I will identify four logical possibilities of resolving conflicts and will cite examples from the syntactic literature for each. It will further be suggested that conflict resolution is a common goal of otherwise different linguistic theories in and outside syntax, and that it goes a long way towards motivating argumentation both in other sciences and in everyday discourse. The basic theme of the paper is that just as the study of languages provides a window into human cognition, so does the study of metalanguages — the conceptual apparatus employed by linguists in describing languages. Partonomy (whole-part relations) and taxonomy (type-subtype relations) will be represented as shared tools across various domains of human thought, with both relations serving a shared goal: resolving conflicts.
Keywords: conflict, syntactic theory, conflict resolution, prototype, canon, taxonomy, partonomy
Published online: 07 January 2011
Cited by 7 other publications
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