Since the birth of generative linguistics in the late 1950s, there have been close ties between philosophy and linguistics, with many influences in both directions. Despite this close relationship, surprisingly little work has been devoted to the philosophy of linguistics. Just as the philosophy of physics (mutatis mutandis mathematics or biology) studies the work of physicists and examines its metaphysical and epistemological foundations, the philosophy of linguistics ought to address the parallel issues that arise with respect to the work of linguists. Peter Ludlow’s book makes a key contribution to this relatively underexplored philosophical field.

The book does not defend a single overarching position, but rather explores a range of philosophical issues that arise in the context of generative linguistics. Chapter 1 offers the reader...

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