北京第二外国语学院学报 ›› 2021, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (5): 3-22.DOI: 10.12002/j.bisu.351

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作为经验科学的形式语言学:思想与方法

胡建华()   

  1. 中国社会科学院语言学研究所,北京 100732
  • 收稿日期:2020-12-25 出版日期:2021-10-31 发布日期:2021-12-16
  • 作者简介:胡建华,中国社会科学院语言研究所教授,博士生导师,100732,研究方向:理论语言学、句法学、语义学、儿童语言获得、心理语言学。电子邮箱: ctjhu@126.com

Formal Linguistics as an Empirical Science: Ideas and Methods

Hu Jianhua()   

  1. Institute of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 100732, China
  • Received:2020-12-25 Online:2021-10-31 Published:2021-12-16

摘要:

本文指出,致力于探究柏拉图问题的生成语言学(又称形式语言学)是一门经验科学。它和理论物理学在研究旨趣上有某些相通之处,二者都采用演绎的方法来研究自然现象(语言也是一种自然现象)。作为经验科学,形式语言学最重要的特点是它所提出的一些假设要具有可被证伪(falsifiable)的特性。形式语言学一直致力于用更为简单的原则对复杂的语言现象作出更加系统、统一的解释,这与自然科学研究的目标是一致的。目前,生成语言学已经发展到最简方案阶段。最简方案更加注重对人类语言基本特性的探究,希望建立一个简单的句法计算系统,用以推导复杂的人类语言。

关键词: 形式语言学, 生成语法, 经验科学, 柏拉图问题, 先天论, 可证伪性, 研究方法

Abstract:

This paper points out that generative linguistics, also called formal linguistics, is an empirical science that shares quite a number of similarities with theoretical physics with regard to the ways of investigating natural phenomena, given that language is also a natural phenomenon. Researchers in both formal linguistics and theoretical physics use deductive methods to investigate the natural phenomenon about which they are curious. As an empirical science, the most important characteristic of formal linguistics is that the hypotheses it proposes must be falsifiable. At present, generative linguistics has developed to the stage of the Minimalist Program, which has a particular focus on the study of the Basic Property of human language (Chomsky 2016). The Minimalist Program aims to construct a simple computational system of syntax that can be used to derive the complexities of human language. The goal of formal linguistics, as in natural science, is to account for the numerous, complicated phenomena pertaining to human language in a unified way, and in terms of a few simple principles.

Key words: Formal linguistics, generative grammar, empirical science, Plato’s Problem, nativism, falsifiability, research methodology

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