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Theoretical Linguistics

An Open Peer Review Journal

Editor-in-Chief: Krifka, Manfred

Ed. by Gärtner, Hans-Martin

4 Issues per year

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Volume 37, Issue 1-2


Abstractions and idealisations: The construction of modern linguistics

Martin Stokhof / Michiel van Lambalgen
Published Online: 2011-08-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/thli.2011.001


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.

About the article

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

Published Online: 2011-08-03

Published in Print: 2011-08-01

Citation Information: Theoretical Linguistics, Volume 37, Issue 1-2, Pages 1–26, ISSN (Online) 1613-4060, ISSN (Print) 0301-4428, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/thli.2011.001.

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