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THEORY (WAS: RE: Non-explanations

From:And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 18, 2001, 22:33
> I personally think that PP is a wonderful theory, at least in its > underlying assumptions. The form that the theory has taken so far isn't > yet satisfactory, but they seem to be moving in the right direction and > some really good ideas have been proposed. The theory does exactly > what a good theory should--it accounts for (almost) all of the relevant > data, and predicts that all languages will share some features and no > languages will have other features. I'm sure others on the list feel > differently, though.
By the standard of other people on this list I'm relatively well-disposed to P&P, but the fact is that if it true that it accounts for (almost) all of the relevant data (and it probably doesn't), it does so only by defining 99% of data as irrelevant. For example, take any English text and for 999 sentences out of a thousand, P&P will have no analysis for it. P&P aims to build a theory of Universal Grammar. It holds that languages are formed from core, UG, properties and from peripheral, language- specific properties. 99% of a language is in the periphery. --And.