Wo stehen wir in der Grammatiktheorie? Bemerkungen anlässlich eines Buchs von Stefan Müller

Wolfgang Sternefeld, Frank Richter
2012 Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft  
Stefan Müller's recent introductory textbook, "Grammatiktheorie", is an astonishingly comprehensive and insightful survey for beginning students of the present state of syntactic theory. Müller's inspiring exposition of modern grammatical reasoning, which takes into account frameworks as diverse as Categorial Grammar, Tree Adjoining Grammar, Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Minimalism and Construction Grammar (among others!), leads us to an exploration of the validity of the popular claim
more » ... hat grammar theory provides explanations for the human ability to acquire and use linguistic skills. To what extent this claim is justified seems unclear in light of the recent wealth of developments in neighboring fields such as computational linguistics, corpus linguistics, psycholinguistics, and statistical language modeling. In the first section of the paper, we discuss what we perceive to be a widening gap between the claims to all-embracing explanation in theoretical linguistics and the increasingly disturbing neglect of a vast field of new data and analyses in the above-mentioned related disciplines. Section 2 gives a condensed survey of the contents of Müller's book and discusses the relationships between the various frameworks. We conclude with sceptical remarks on the book's preference of breadth over depth, the legacy of traditional grammar theory, and the future perspective of linguistics.
doi:10.1515/zfs-2012-0010 fatcat:wvlep5bkzvcp5o5xz557gmbxme