Publication details [#9721]

Verschueren, Jef. 1976. An alternative to prototype rules. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society 2 : 386–395.
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V. claims that positing universal prototypes for syntactic phenomena in terms of functions is virtually impossible. Most functional approaches to syntax are said to be from-form-to-function approaches, which, because of the arbitrariness of linguistic forms, are not very helpful for universal grammar. Because functions are more likely to be universal, a from-function-to-form approach is offered as an alternative and an illustration is given of how such an approach could be relevant for the study of the syntax of a single language as well.