Books
John Maher

Introducing Chomsky

    Yohanahas quoted7 months ago
    Chomsky is interested in the question: to what extent and in what ways can inquiry in the “Galilean style” yield understanding of the roots of human nature in the cognitive domain?
    Yohanahas quoted7 months ago
    There’s a view that a language is a set of grammatical expressions. That makes no sense at all, yet it’s a very common view
    Another view is that language is some kind of socio-political phenomenon. It’s like the notion “region”. The world isn’t divided into regions, but we use the notion all the time because it’s useful.
    Yohanahas quoted7 months ago
    E-Language and I-Language

    Chomsky originally developed the notion of competence, which is the system of knowledge that a native speaker possesses. This cognitive system or domain is reformulated, rather differently, as I-language: a state of the mind-brain. I-language is what a child acquires when it learns language: an instantiation of the initial state. It is highly abstract, remote from ordinary behaviour and mechanisms. By contrast, E-language means external, extensional, any concept of language that is not internal to the mind-brain. So, if one refers to “Irish” as the language they talk where it is dotted orange on a map of Ireland, that’s a case of E-language. It bears conceptual resemblance but no special relation to the earlier term performance – how language is actually used. E-language relates neither to competence nor performance, which are about organisms, nor to complicated socio-political constructs.
    Yohanahas quoted7 months ago
    Another important defining characteristic of language is structure dependence. This is a universal principle common to the syntax of all languages. Knowing a language is to know not a mere string or linear sequence of words but their structural relationship. The child unerringly uses computationally complex rules involving structure dependence to distinguish between: “Is the girl who has freckles Rosie?” and “Has the girl who freckles is Rosie?”
    Yohanahas quoted7 months ago
    To say that language is a biological attribute is to say that some of its deepest properties are genetically determined, like many other aspects of who and what we are.
    Некто Никтоhas quoted9 months ago
    The task of linguistics is to provide deep account of human language.
    Наталья Юрченкоhas quotedlast year
    Perhaps literature will forever give far deeper insight into “the full human person” than any model of scientific inquiry can hope to do. Chomsky
    Наталья Юрченкоhas quotedlast year
    LANGUAGE, LIKE THE MOVEMENT OF THE PLANETS AND GRAVITATIONAL CONSTANTS, IS TAKEN FOR GRANTED, PEOPLE HAVE NO INTUITION ABOUT THE RULES OF CLASSICAL PHYSICS.
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