Glossary

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empiricism: an empiricist approach to language is dominated by the observation of naturally occurring data, typically through the medium of the corpus. For example, we may decide to determine whether sentence x is a valid sentence of language y by looking in a corpus of the language in question and gathering evidence for the grammatically, or otherwise of the sentence.

scientific method: No theory of science is ever complete. Popper states that empirical theories have to have the property not only of being verified, but of being able to be falsified (the process of finding a rule by looking for exceptions of it). Science proceeds by speculation and hypothesis. This forms theories which have predictive power.

rationalism: rationalist theories are based on the development of a theory of mind in the case of linguistics, and have as a fundamental goal cognitive plausibility. The aim is to develop a theory of human language processing, but actively seeks to make the claim that it represents how the processing is actually undertaken.