Michael Hoey: Lexical Priming

We have now reached the end of this fascinating book, which proposes a new description of the way language works. It is based on the new information offered by new technology – the huge databases of authentic language offered by computers and their ability to analyse them.

This enables Hoey to question fundamentally the grammar-dominated model of language put forward by Chomsky. Hoey argues that the meanings of language are built up, not primarily from grammar, but from semantics. This he describes systematically, using as evidence the information and analyses derived from these databases. Chomsky’s model, by contrast, has never been supported by evidence. Continue reading