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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton August 3, 2011

Abstractions and idealisations: The construction of modern linguistics

  • Martin Stokhof EMAIL logo and Michiel van Lambalgen EMAIL logo
From the journal Theoretical Linguistics


The paper addresses the way in which modern linguistics, – in particular, but not exclusively, the generative tradition –, has constructed its core concepts. It argues that a particular form of construction, reminiscent of, but crucially different from, abstraction, which is dubbed ‘idealisation’, plays a central role here. The resemblances and differences between abstractions and idealisations are investigated, and consequences of the reliance on idealisations are reviewed.

Correspondence address: ILLC/Department of Philosophy, Universiteit van Amsterdam

Published Online: 2011-08-03
Published in Print: 2011-August

© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston

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