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The usefulness of the grammaticality–acceptability distinction in functional approaches to language

The usefulness of the grammaticality–acceptability distinction in functional approaches to language The distinction between grammaticality and acceptability has been regarded with strong scepticism in functional linguistics because of its origin in Chomskyan linguistics. In this article, I will argue that the distinction is useful in functional linguistics, provided that it is based on a distinction between competence and performance, rather than on a distinction between syntax and meaning. The basic rationale for having such a distinction is that much of linguistics is concerned with describing relatively stable grammatical knowledge, rather than the psycholinguistic dynamics of language use. This article will briefly summarize the early history and rationale of the notion of grammaticality within Chomskyan and functional linguistics, before defining a functional, usage-based definition of grammaticality. Finally, the article will illustrate how this usage-based notion of grammaticality can be used as a framework for interpreting corpus and experimental data on language use. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Acta Linguistica Hafniensia: International Taylor & Francis

The usefulness of the grammaticality–acceptability distinction in functional approaches to language

Acta Linguistica Hafniensia: International , Volume 44 (1): 18 – May 1, 2012
18 pages

The usefulness of the grammaticality–acceptability distinction in functional approaches to language

Abstract

The distinction between grammaticality and acceptability has been regarded with strong scepticism in functional linguistics because of its origin in Chomskyan linguistics. In this article, I will argue that the distinction is useful in functional linguistics, provided that it is based on a distinction between competence and performance, rather than on a distinction between syntax and meaning. The basic rationale for having such a distinction is that much of linguistics is concerned with...
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2013 The Linguistic Circle of Copenhagen
ISSN
1949-0763
eISSN
0374-0463
DOI
10.1080/03740463.2011.735472
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The distinction between grammaticality and acceptability has been regarded with strong scepticism in functional linguistics because of its origin in Chomskyan linguistics. In this article, I will argue that the distinction is useful in functional linguistics, provided that it is based on a distinction between competence and performance, rather than on a distinction between syntax and meaning. The basic rationale for having such a distinction is that much of linguistics is concerned with describing relatively stable grammatical knowledge, rather than the psycholinguistic dynamics of language use. This article will briefly summarize the early history and rationale of the notion of grammaticality within Chomskyan and functional linguistics, before defining a functional, usage-based definition of grammaticality. Finally, the article will illustrate how this usage-based notion of grammaticality can be used as a framework for interpreting corpus and experimental data on language use.

Journal

Acta Linguistica Hafniensia: InternationalTaylor & Francis

Published: May 1, 2012

Keywords: grammaticality; acceptability; competence; functional linguistics; usage-based linguistics

References