An epistemological study of Chomsky's transformational grammar

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (2):211-246 (2008)
Abstract
The article traces interpretative mechanisms hidden in Chomsky's Transformational Model. The framework is that of epistemological criticism, investigating the intertwining of interpretation, context and intuition. My hypothesis is that the Transformational Model is an example of a quasi-axiomatic, intuition-based grammar. It is not a scientific model of Competence but a scientistic description of Performance (teleological corpora). The scientistic décor is thus an eristic stratagem to hide arbitrary interpretation. The discussion is empirically substantiated by analyzing the notion of grammaticality, the tectonics of the Transformational Model and the phenomenology of countable/uncountable nouns. Key Words: interpretative mechanisms • intuition • epistemology • transformational model • context • Dasein • performance • competence.
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