Taxonomic Linguistics

Taxonomic Linguistics

 

a linguistic approach that seeks to classify language phenomena. Taxonomic linguistics is based on the procedure of selecting linguistic units from a text and studying their features in terms of sequence and distribution. Taxonomic linguistics deals with classes of language constituents and with the relationships existing between these classes and the language constituents themselves.

Traditional linguistics is primarily taxonomic in its approach. The taxonomic approach is in contrast to the generative approach of generative grammar. The goal of taxonomic linguistics is sometimes regarded as the grouping of individual grammatical categories that are similar in different languages into a single generalized category, for example, the passive voice or the perfective aspect.

References in periodicals archive ?
While Graham carefully distinguishes where Saussure and Chomsky can agree about one aspect of the arbitrariness of language, he attacks the superficial nature of the structural account of grammar and unequivocally opts for the "scientific" realism of Chomsky's generative model: "Generative grammar has revealed that human languages have other kinds of structures, those modular structures in particular that are more complex that the syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations required by taxonomic linguistics" (82).