Linguistics and the explanatory economy

Synthese:1-43 (forthcoming)
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I present a novel, collaborative, methodology for linguistics: what I call the ‘explanatory economy’. According to this picture, multiple models/theories are evaluated based on the extent to which they complement one another with respect to data coverage. I show how this model can resolve a long-standing worry about the methodology of generative linguistics: that by creating too much distance between data and theory, the empirical credentials of this research program are tarnished. I provide justifications of such methodologically central distinctions as the competence/performance and core/periphery distinction, and then show how we can understand the push for simplicity in the history of generative grammar in this light.
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