Linguistic Theory in America: The First Quarter Century of Transformational Generative Grammar

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Academic Press, Jan 1, 1980 - Generative grammar - 290 pages
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It's been a while since I've read this book but it is excellent.
Newmeyer reviews the history of linguistics in the USA from the pre-Chomskyan period until the early 1980's.
A lot of the early ideas have totally disappeared from Chomsky's modern literature. I think this book gives some good perspective on what we have now and what it came from, and why.
Most of the teachers teaching in universities now were in grad school in the late eighties or nineties (or later). They do not personally know the history that Newmeyer describes.
As such, this is probably one of the best ways to get to understand the context of modern linguistic theory, especially in North America.


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About the author (1980)

Frederick J. Newmeyer is Howard and Frances Nostrand Professor of Linguistics at the University of Washington in Seattle where he has taught since 1969. He was Secretary-Treasurer of the Linguistic Society of America from 1989 to 1993 and its President in 2002. He specializes in syntax and the
history of linguistics and in his current research program seeks to synthesize the results of formal and functional linguistics. He is the author of the books English Aspectual Verbs (1975), Linguistic Theory in America (1980), Grammatical Theory: Its Limits and its Possibilities (1983), The
Politics of Linguistics (1986), Generative Linguistics: Historical Perspective (1996), and Language Form and Language Function (1998). He was also editor of the four-volume compilation Linguistics: The Cambridge Survey (1988).

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