Syntax vs. Semantics

A blogpost by Omer Preminger https://omer.lingsite.org/blogpost-meaning-based-syntax-compositional-semantics-and-the-circularity-problem/ generated a response in the comments by Gillian Ramchand (reposted on her own blog here: https://gillianramchand.blog/2018/08/23/premingers-arguments-for-a-semantics-free-syntax/ )

It’s an interesting argument about how much interaction there should be between syntax and semantics and how far each discipline’s turf goes, both conjuncts meant as a comment about the objects of study as well as the humans who practice it.

The candidate for the obligatory favourite quote (you know me) is indisputably this:

The syntax tribe and the semantics tribe have CEASED to meddle in each others affairs.
There has been a divorce.
And unfortunately, since there were no kids, they don’t even have to negotiate joint custody of anything.

In any case, read the blogpost and the ensuing discussion in the comments, it’s interesting (in parts a bit over my head, I’ll admit that) and entertaining, as you can see above.

 

pl

 

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