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Foundations of LanguageBrain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution$
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Ray Jackendoff

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198270126

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198270126.001.0001

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(p.38) CHAPTER 3 Combinatoriality
Foundations of Language

Ray Jackendoff

Oxford University Press

One of the most striking features of language is the fact that speakers can understand and construct an indefinitely large number of sentences that they have never experienced before. This leads to the conclusion that a speaker's knowledge is instantiated as a set of generative principles (or rules) for constructing and recognizing sentences; these principles constitute the speaker's mental grammar. After enumerating some of the general types of rules proposed in various frameworks of generative grammar, the chapter discusses some problems that combinatoriality poses for popular theories of semantic memory and neural nets.

Keywords:   knowledge, formation rules, derivational rules, lexical rules, constraints, generative grammar, semantic memory, neural nets, cognitive neuroscience

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