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WIREs Cogn Sci
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Linguistic evidence and grammatical theory

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Abstract This article surveys the major kinds of empirical evidence used by linguists, with a particular focus on the relevance of the evidence to the goals of generative grammar. After a background section overviewing the objectives and assumptions of that framework, three broad kinds of data are considered in the three subsequent sections: corpus data, judgment data, and (other) experimental data. The perspective adopted is that all three have their place in the linguist's toolbox: they have relative advantages and disadvantages that often complement one another, so converging evidence of more than one kind can reasonably be sought in many instances. Points are illustrated mainly with examples from syntax, but often can be easily translated to other levels (e.g., phonology, morphology, semantics, and pragmatics). WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 206–221 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.102 This article is categorized under: Linguistics > Language in Mind and Brain Linguistics > Linguistic Theory

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