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By By the Rev. William J. Davis.

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Extra info for A grammar of the Kaffir language.

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Lyons 1968: 98) Of course, to do science it is necessary to be a reductionist, for practical reasons: one must define an object of study that is manageable. In seeking to establish a scientific linguistics it was legitimate and sensible for structural linguists to push to one side those conventions of communicative behaviour that seemed less central, or less amenable to systematic analysis, than those of phonology and grammar. What is problematic about the statements quoted above, obviously, is the idea that languages are to be equated with grammars and that linguistic theory should be chiefly about grammar.

Where they diverge markedly is in the treatment of complex expressions that are well-formed. , well-formed form-meaning pairings, are included. For example, among the compounds listed under door in the Shorter Oxford are door alarm, door frame, door mat, door post, door step and door stop, in what seem to be regular senses: ‘alarm for a door’, ‘frame for a door’, etc. Under blood, the 2nd edition of Webster’s New World English Dictionary lists such well-formed compounds as blood-colored, bloodstained, blood test, blood type and bloody-faced, analogous with thousands of other possible compounds of the form X-colored, X-stained, X test, X type, Xy-faced.

Among the clearest presentations of the ‘Neo-Bloomfieldian’ tradition that dominated American structural linguistics from the 1930s to the 1950s is that given in Charles Hockett’s A Course in Modern Linguistics (1958). Hockett says that a language consists of five main subsystems, three central, two peripheral (1958: 137–8). The central subsystems are the grammatical, phonological and morphophonemic systems, central because they have nothing to do with the nonspeech world. The peripheral systems are those of semantics and phonetics.

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