Analogical Modeling of Language

  • Royal Skousen

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Royal Skousen
    Pages 3-10
  3. Royal Skousen
    Pages 22-50
  4. Royal Skousen
    Pages 51-76
  5. Royal Skousen
    Pages 137-140
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 141-212

About this book


1. Structuralist Versus Analogical Descriptions ONE important purpose of this book is to compare two completely dif­ ferent approaches to describing language. The first of these approaches, commonly called stnlctllralist, is the traditional method for describing behavior. Its methods are found in many diverse fields - from biological taxonomy to literary criticism. A structuralist description can be broadly characterized as a system of classification. The fundamental question that a structuralist description attempts to answer is how a general contextual space should be partitioned. For each context in the partition, a rule is defined. The rule either specifies the behavior of that context or (as in a taxonomy) assigns a name to that context. Structuralists have implicitly assumed that descriptions of behavior should not only be correct, but should also minimize the number of rules and permit only the simplest possible contextual specifications. It turns out that these intuitive notions can actually be derived from more fundamental statements about the uncertainty of rule systems. Traditionally, linguistic analyses have been based on the idea that a language is a system of rules. Saussure, of course, is well known as an early proponent of linguistic structuralism, as exemplified by his characterization of language as "a self-contained whole and principle of classification" (Saussure 1966:9). Yet linguistic structuralism did not originate with Saussure - nor did it end with "American structuralism".


Phonem Verb behavior learning memory modeling

Authors and affiliations

  • Royal Skousen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishBrigham Young UniversityUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1989
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-7350-9
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-1906-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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