Noam Chomsky on Language Aquisition

published 6 years ago by BBC Radio

Is language structure hard-wired into our brain? Noam Chomsky thinks so.

WNED language sets us apart other animals communicate but they don't have anything approaching the sophisticated grammar of human languages. How is it that we learn to speak and think and language so easily. Young children become adept in a new language very quickly. Since the dawn of philosophy thinkers have argued about whether or not we have innate ideas whether we are born knowing things as Plato believed all Radha as John log and other empiricist argued the mind is a blank slate on which experience writes. An American linguist Noam Chomsky gave a twist to this debate in the 19 sixties by demonstrating that children learning to speak just don't have enough information to form the complex grammatical maneuvers that allow them to generate unlimited new and original sentences. It ...

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