Beyond "universal grammar" Cover Image

Beyond "universal grammar"
Beyond "universal grammar"

Author(s): Noam Chomsky
Subject(s): Semiotics / Semiology
Published by: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus

Summary/Abstract: Dear Professor Barbieri, Just found this book at my office today, in the usual huge stack of mail, books, papers, etc. It looked so intriguing that I started reading it on the way home. Luckily for me, the bus was late, so I had more than the usual amount of time. It is really fascinating. About half way through before the bus stopped, I got back to it later. Your book is very much along the lines of my own recent work, in some ways. Since the modern subject of the study of language took shape about 50 years ago in what's sometimes called a "biolinguistic" framework, it seemed clear to me that some day we would have to try to go beyond "universal grammar" — the relevant genetic endowment — and try to find out not just what it is but why it is this way, looking for the kinds of factors you mention in discussing cellular epigenesis. I was much intrigued by work of Turing (1952) on morphogenesis, and D'Arcy Thompson's classic work (Thompson 1942). In recent years, enough has been learned so that the questions seem perhaps open to serious inquiry, and what seems to be a sensible research program has taken shape, with I think interesting results.

  • Issue Year: 29/2001
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 367-368
  • Page Count: 2