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  1. Infinity and the Foundations of Linguistics.Ryan Nefdt - 2019 - Synthese 196 (5):1671-1711.
    The concept of linguistic infinity has had a central role to play in foundational debates within theoretical linguistics since its more formal inception in the mid-twentieth century. The conceptualist tradition, marshalled in by Chomsky and others, holds that infinity is a core explanandum and a link to the formal sciences. Realism/Platonism takes this further to argue that linguistics is in fact a formal science with an abstract ontology. In this paper, I argue that a central misconstrual of formal apparatus of (...)
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  • The Ontology of Words: A Structural Approach.Ryan M. Nefdt - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (8):877-911.
    ABSTRACTWords form a fundamental basis for our understanding of linguistic practice. However, the precise ontology of words has eluded many philosophers and linguists. A persistent difficulty for most accounts of words is the type-token distinction [Bromberger, S. 1989. “Types and Tokens in Linguistics.” In Reflections on Chomsky, edited by A. George, 58–90. Basil Blackwell; Kaplan, D. 1990. “Words.” Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume LXIV: 93–119]. In this paper, I present a novel account of words which differs from the atomistic and platonistic (...)
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  • The Philosophy of Linguistics: Scientific Underpinnings and Methodological Disputes.Ryan M. Nefdt - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12).
    This article surveys the philosophical literature on theoretical linguistics. The focus of the paper is centred around the major debates in the philosophy of linguistics, past and present, with specific relation to how they connect to the philosophy of science. Specific issues such as scientific realism in linguistics, the scientific status of grammars, the methodological underpinnings of formal semantics, and the integration of linguistics into the larger cognitive sciences form the crux of the discussion.
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  • Assessing Direct and Indirect Evidence in Linguistic Research.Christina Behme - 2014 - Topoi 33 (2):373-383.
    This paper focuses on the linguistic evidence base provided by proponents of conceptualism (e.g., Chomsky) and rational realism (e.g., Katz) and challenges some of the arguments alleging that the evidence allowed by conceptualists is superior to that of rational realists. Three points support this challenge. First, neither conceptualists nor realists are in a position to offer direct evidence. This challenges the conceptualists’ claim that their evidence is inherently superior. Differences between the kinds of available indirect evidence will be discussed. Second, (...)
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  • Pro and Con: Internal Speech and the Evolution of Complex Language.Christina Behme - 2016 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39.
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  • The Central Question in Comparative Syntactic Metatheory.Geoffrey K. Pullum - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (4):492-521.
    Two kinds of theoretical framework for syntax are encountered in current linguistics. One emerged from the mathematization of proof theory, and is referred to here as generative-enumerative syntax (GES). A less explored alternative stems from the semantic side of logic, and is here called model-theoretic syntax (MTS). I sketch the outlines of each, and give a capsule summary of some mathematical results pertaining to the latter. I then briefly survey some diverse types of evidence suggesting that in some ways MTS (...)
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