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Word grammar

Word grammar

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Word grammar has been developed by Richard Hudson
Richard Hudson
Richard “Dick” Hudson is a British linguist. He has lived in England for most of his life . He turned into a linguist via Loughborough Grammar School in Leicestershire , Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and the School of Oriental and African Studies...

 since the 1980s. It started as a model of syntax, whose most distinctive characteristic is its use of dependency grammar
Dependency grammar
Dependency grammar is a class of modern syntactic theories that are all based on the dependency relation and that can be traced back primarily to the work of Lucien Tesnière. Dependency grammars are distinct from phrase structure grammars , since they lack phrasal nodes. Structure is determined by...

, an approach to syntax in which the sentence's structure is almost entirely contained in the information about individual words, and syntax is seen as consisting primarily of principles for combining words. The central syntactic relation is that of dependency between words; constituent structure is not recognized except in the special case of coordinate structures.

However an even more important claim of Word Grammar is that statements about words and their properties form a complex network of propositions. More recent work on Word Grammar cites neurocognitive linguistics as a source of inspiration for the idea that language is nothing but a network. One of the attractions of the network view is the possibility of analysing language in the same way as other kinds of knowledge, given that knowledge, or long-term memory
Long-term memory
Long-term memory is memory in which associations among items are stored, as part of the theory of a dual-store memory model. According to the theory, long term memory differs structurally and functionally from working memory or short-term memory, which ostensibly stores items for only around 20–30...

, is widely considered to be a network.

Word grammar is an example of cognitive linguistics
Cognitive linguistics
In linguistics, cognitive linguistics refers to the branch of linguistics that interprets language in terms of the concepts, sometimes universal, sometimes specific to a particular tongue, which underlie its forms...

, which models language as part of general knowledge and not as a specialised mental faculty. This is in contrast to the nativism of Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

and his students.

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