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This chapter provides an introduction into the key concepts and motivates the detailed analyses to come. Starting with the idea that languages are relations between form and meaning it is demonstrated that this leads directly to the bottom-up view of grammar as given by Montague. The Principle of Independence is formulated and shown to lead to two well-known concepts in linguistics: that of compositionality and that of the autonomy of syntax. The discussion then turns to the nature of languages as relations. As will be shown in subsequent chapters, languages are inherently many-to-many relations. In particular, expressions can have very many meanings with no possibility to unite them into a single one. Ambiguity is therefore inherent in natural languages.
Keywordsde Saussure Principle of Independence Autonomy of Syntax Compositionality
- Saussure, Ferdinand de. 2006. Writings in General Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar