more from Ofra Magidor

Single Idea 18010

[catalogued under 19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 1. Syntax]

Full Idea

The sentences 'John is easy to please' and 'John is eager to please' can have very different deep structure (with the latter concerning John as a pleaser, while the former concerns John as the one being pleased).

Gist of Idea

'John is easy to please' and 'John is eager to please' have different deep structure


Ofra Magidor (Category Mistakes [2013], 2.1)

Book Reference

Magidor,Ofra: 'Category Mistakes' [OUP 2013], p.26

A Reaction

This demolishes the old idea of grammar as 'parts of speech' strung together according to superficial rules. The question is whether we now just have deeper syntax, or whether semantics is part of the process.

Related Ideas

Idea 18006 Chomsky's 'interpretative semantics' says syntax comes first, and is then interpreted [Chomsky, by Magidor]

Idea 18008 Generative semantics says structure is determined by semantics as well as syntactic rules [Magidor]