Protecting general-linguistic hypotheses fromrefutat ion

Rudolf P. Botha


Is theoretical linguistics, and specifically transformational genera-- tive grammar, an empirical science? This question, clearly, invites a reply which is either positive or negative. The present paper, however, will argue neither for nor against the empirical status of transformational generative grammar. On a general level it will rather argue that the question of the errpirical status of transformational generative er~ar is exceedinp,ly complex a question not to be approached with a cavalier attitude. On a more specific level the present paper will attempt to justify the following thesis:

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