O sporach wokół formy i funkcji we współczesnym językoznawstwie. Formalizm kontra funkcjonalizm?

Ewa Willim

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/LinCop.2010.003


This paper focuses on the divide in current theorizing about language and the empirical, methodological, and philosophical domain of linguistics in two dominant theoretical perspectives: functionalist and formalist. The former takes communication to be the main function of language and it is impressed by the cultural, conventional nature of language. In the latter, the proper object of study is the human language faculty, the core of which is to be explained in terms of human biology, i.e. innate principles of grammar formation. It is shown here that the controversy between today’s functionalists and formalists can be traced back to the earliest days of human thinking about language. The conceptual turns that have occurred in the main formalist paradigm, Chomsky’s generative grammar, have resulted in changes in the aims and methods of formal linguistic analysis. The recent developments shifting attention away from the innate grammatical principles to the interactions between the grammar and two external interface systems (of sound and meaning) and highlighting the need of economy and simplicity as conditions inherent to a computational system that is to be an ‘optimal’ solution to the task of relating sound and meaning have brought formalists closer to functionalists than ever before. Nevertheless, the philosophical and methodological foundations of the two broad research programs, seeking an explanation of grammatical principles either in terms of the communicative needs of the speakers and principles of communicative efficiency or in terms of computational efficiency (minimum parameters and mathematical complexity), remain distinct.

Słowa kluczowe

funkcjonalizm; formalizm; język jako suma faktów językowych; język jako system; autonomia składni; rekursywność; gramatyka generatywna; minimalizm; czynniki kształtujące system językowy

Pełny tekst:



Aarts B., 2004, Conceptions of gradience in the history of linguistics, Language Sciences 26, s. 343–389.

Ackema P., Neeleman A., 2002, Effects of short-term storage in processing rightward movement, w: S. Nooteboom i in. (red.), Storage and computation in the language faculty, Dordrecht: Kluwer, s. 219–256.

Baker M., 2001, The atoms of language, New York: Basic Books.

Baker M., McCloskey J., 2007, On the relationship of typology to theoretical syntax, Linguistic Typology 11, s. 285–296.

Bierwiaczonek B., 2008, Czy językoznawstwo kognitywne jest autonomiczne?, w: P. Stalmaszczyk (red.), 2008, s. 120–131.

Boeckx C., 2006, Linguistic minimalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bogusławski A., 1986, O pojęciu wyjaśniania i wyjaśnianiu w lingwistyce, Biuletyn Polskiego Towarzystwa Językoznawczego XL, s. 45–51.

Brown K. (red.), 2006, The encyclopedia of language and linguistics, Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Butler C. S., 2006, Functionalist theories of language, w: K. Brown (red.), s. 696– –704.

Carruthers P., 2002, The cognitive functions of language, Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25, s. 657–726.

Cheng L.-S., 2007, The autonomy of syntax, w: A. Groen i in. (red.), Knowledge in ferment, Leiden: Leiden University Press, s. 209–226.

Chomsky N., 1957, Syntactic structures, The Hague: Mouton.

Chomsky N., 1975, Reflections on language, New York: Pantheon Books.

Chomsky N., 1995, The minimalist program, Cambridge (USA): MIT Press.

Chomsky N., 2005, Three factors in language design, Linguistic Inquiry 36, s. 1–22.

Chomsky N., 2007a, Of minds and language, Biolinguistics 1, s. 9–27.

Chomsky N., 2007b, Approaching UG from below., w: U. Sauerland, H.-M. Gärtner (red), Interfaces + recursion = language?, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, s. 1–29.

Crain S., Nakayama J. M., 1987, Structure dependence in children’s language, Language 62, s. 522–543.

Crain S., Pietroski P., 2001, Nature, nurture and Universal Grammar, Linguistics and Philosophy 24, s. 139–186.

Croft W., 1995, Autonomy and functionalist linguistics, Language 71, s. 490–532.

Croft W., 1999, Typology and universals, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Croft W., 2000, Explaining language change: an evolutionary perspective, London: Longman.

Croft W., 2009, Ten unwarranted assumptions in syntactic argumentation [online], http://www.unm.edu/Croft/Papers/Arguments-formatted.pdf/, [10.11.2009].

Damasio H. i in., 1996, A neural basis for lexical retrieval, Nature 380, s. 499–505.

DeLancey S., 2001, On functionalism, [online], http:/www.uoregon.edu/~delancey/ sb/LECT01.html, [15.10.2008].

Dryer M., 2008, Order of subject, object, and verb, w: M. Haspelmath i in. (red.), The world atlas of language structures online, Munich: Max Planck Digital Library [online], http://wals.info/feature, [15.12.2008].

Evans N., Levinson S., 2009, The myth of language universals. Language diversity and its implications for cognitive science, Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39, s. 429–492.

Fanselow G., 2008, In need of mediation: the relation between syntax and information structure, Acta Linguistica Hungarica 55, s. 1–17.

Fisher C., 2002, The role of abstract syntactic knowledge in language acquisition. A reply to Tomasello (2000), Cognition 82, s. 259–278.

Fodor J., 1983, The modularity of mind, Cambridge (USA): MIT Press.

Francis E. J., 1998, When form and meaning come apart: quantificational nouns, predicate nominals, and locative subjects in English, Chicago Linguistic Society 34, s. 159–170.

Francis E. J., Michaelis L. A., 2003, Mismatch: form-function incongruity and the architecture of the grammar, Stanford: CSLI.

Givón T., 1995, Functionalism and grammar, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Co.

Goldin-Meadow S., Mylander C., 1983, Gestural communication in deaf children: noneffect of parental input on language development, Science 221, s. 372–74.

Haspelmath M., 1999, Economic motivation in noun phrase syntax, Language 75, s. 227–243.

Hauser M., Chomsky N., Fitch W. T., 2002, The faculty of language: what is it, who has it, and how did it evolve?, Science 28, s. 1569–1579.

Hawkins J., 2003, Efficiency and complexity in grammars: three principles, w: J. Moore, M. Polinsky (red.), The nature of explanation in linguistic theory, Stanford: CSLI Publications, s. 121–152.

Hawkins J., 2007, An efficiency theory of complexity and related phenomena, w: G. Sampson i in. (red.), Language complexity as an evolving variable, Oxford: Oxford University Press, s. 252–268.

Heinz A., 1978, Dzieje językoznawstwa w zarysie, Warszawa: PWN.

Hurford J., 2002, The roles of expression and representation in language evolution, w: A. Wray (red.), The transition to language, Oxford: Oxford University Press, s. 311–334.

Jackendoff R., 2003, Précis of Foundations of language: brain, meaning, grammar, evolution, Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26, s. 651–707.

Kardela H., 2008, Gramatyka kognitywna i gramatyka słowa a język formuliczny, w: P. Stalmaszczyk (red.), 2008, s. 132–157.

Lakoff G., 1987, Women, fire, and dangerous things, Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Levinson D., 2000, Presumptive meanings. The theory of generalized conversational implicature, Cambridge (USA): MIT Press.

Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk B., 2008, Czym jest język? Dzisiejsze kontrowersje w paradygmatach generatywnych i kognitywnych, w: P. Stalmaszczyk (red.), 2008, s. 9–26.

Losonsky M., 1999, Introduction, w: M. Losonsky (red.), Wilhelm von Humboldt: on language, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, s. vii–xxxv.

Lyons C., 1999, Definiteness, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lyons J., 1976, Wstęp do językoznawstwa, Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.

Mathieu E., 2006, Autonomy, w: K. Brown (red.), 2006, s. 624–626.

Mueller-Vollmer K., 2007, Wilhelm van Humboldt, w: E. Zalta (red.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [online], http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wilhelmhumboldt/, [15.03.2009].

Neeleman A., Weerman F., 1997, L1 and L2 word order acquisition, Language Acquisition 6, s. 125–170.

Newmeyer F., 1994, A note on Chomsky on form and function, Journal of Linguistics 30, s. 245–251.

Newmeyer F., 2001, Where is functional explanation?, Chicago Linguistic Society 37, s. 583–599.

Newmeyer F., 2003, Grammar is grammar and usage is usage, Language 79, s. 682– –707.

Newmeyer F., 2007, Linguistic typology requires crosslinguistic formal categories, Linguistic Typology 11, s. 133–157.

Pinker S., Jackendoff R., 2005, The faculty of language: what’s special about it?, Cognition 95, s. 201–236.

Radford A., 2009, Analysing English sentences, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Robins R. H., 1997, A short history of linguistics, London: Longman.

Saffran J. R., Aslin R. N., Newport E. L., 1996, Statistical learning by 8-month-old infants, Science 274, s. 1926–1928.

Searls D., 2002, The language of genes, Nature 420, s. 211–217.

Smith N., 2006, History of linguistics: discipline of linguistics, w: K. Brown (red.), 2006, s. 341–355.

Sperber D., 1994, The modularity of thought and the epidemiology of representations, w: L. A. Hirschfeld, S. A. Gelman (red.), Mapping the mind: domain specificity in cognition and culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sperber D., Wilson D., 1986, Relevance: communication and cognition, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Stalmaszczyk P., 2006, Koncepcje ‘języka’ i ‘gramatyki’ w gramatyce generatywnej i semantyce pojęciowej, w: P. Stalmaszczyk (red.), 2006, s. 75–90.

Stalmaszczyk P. (red.), 2006, Metodologie językoznawstwa. Podstawy teoretyczne, Łódź: Wydawnictwo UŁ.

Stalmaszczyk P. (red.), 2008, Metodologie językoznawstwa. Współczesne tendencje i kontrowersje, Kraków: Lexis.

Tajsner P., 2006. Minimalizm: przełom i kontynuacja, w: P. Stalmaszczyk (red.), 2006, s. 91–107.

Tomasello M., 2000, Do young children have adult syntactic competence?, Cognition 74, s. 209–253.

Ueno M., Polinsky M., 2009, Does headedness affect processing? A new look at the VO-OV contrast, Journal of Linguistics 45, s. 675–710.

Wierzbicka A., 1985, ‘Oats’ and ‘wheat’: the fallacy of arbitrariness, w: J. Haiman (red.), Iconicity in syntax, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, s. 311–432.

Yamashita H., Chang F., 2001, ‘Long before short’ preference in the production of a head-final language, Cognition 8, s. B45–B55.

Yang C. D., 1999, A selectionist theory of language development, w: Proceedings of 37th Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, s. 431–435.

Yang C. D., 2004, Universal Grammar, statistics or both?, Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8, s. 451–456.



Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

ISSN 2080-1068 (print)
ISSN 2391-7768 (online)

Partnerzy platformy czasopism