First Edition of Noam Chomsky's Aspects of the Theory of Syntax
Aspects of the Theory of Syntax.
Item Number: 41052
Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1965.
First edition of this landmark work in generative grammar that introduced certain technical innovations still drawn upon in contemporary work. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by Noam Chomsky on the half-title page. Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some chips and tears. Rare, especially signed.
In Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, Chomsky presented a deeper, more extensive reformulation of transformational generative grammar (TGG), a new kind of syntactic theory that he had introduced in the 1950s with the publication of his first book, Syntactic Structures. Aspects is widely considered to be the foundational document and a proper book-length articulation of Chomskyan theoretical framework of linguistics. It presented Chomsky's epistemological assumptions with a view to establishing linguistic theory-making as a formal (i.e. based on the manipulation of symbols and rules) discipline comparable to physical sciences, i.e. a domain of inquiry well-defined in its nature and scope. From a philosophical perspective, it directed mainstream linguistic research away from behaviorism, constructivism, empiricism and structuralism and towards mentalism, nativism, rationalism and generativism, respectively, taking as its main object of study the abstract, inner workings of the human mind related to language acquisition and production.