Linguistik-Klassifikation: Grammatikforschung / Grammar research
Semiotactics as a Van Wijngaarden grammar
Frederik H. H. Kortlandt
- 1. There are two classes of theories of Universal Grammar: (1) Formalist theories, such as the widespread varieties of generative grammar. These theories start from the assumption that certain strings of linguistic forms are grammatical while other strings are ungrammatical. A grammar of this type produces grammatical strings and does not produce ungrammatical ones. All theories of this class fail in the same respect: they do not account for the meaning of the strings. (2) Semiotactic theories, which describe the meaning of a string in terms of the meanings of its constituent forms and their interrelations. The only elaborate formalized theory of this class presently available is the one advanced by C.L. Ebeling (Syntax and Semantics, Leiden: Brill, 1978). I shall discuss some of its mathematical properties here.