Re: CHAT: Chomsky (Was Re: ALERT: Chomsky Giving a Talk on Language Creation?)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Friday, January 9, 2004, 6:31|
On Thursday, January 8, 2004, at 12:24 PM, John Cowan wrote:
> Ray Brown scripsit:
>> I may have misunderstood Chompskyism, or maybe Pinker mis-represents
>> it - but my understanding was that the 'innate grammar' is regarded
>> as the end-product of aeons of evolution, just as people like me see
>> the the human eyeball the result of the same process.
> Chomsky, however, is unwilling to discuss mechanisms whereby this
> may have come about, and people have charged him with what we might
> call implicit creationism: he treats the language organ/instinct
> as if it arose complete and full-blown in all details.
Right - I was going by the Pinker version. As you've said, Chomsky
himself is not the easiest read. However, to someone of my background,
your description makes him sound to me like a Platonist rather than
a Murkian Creationist.
> BTW, your spelling "Chompsky" is interesting as showing the regular
> English sound-change /ms/ > /mps/ that has actually added a "p"
> to "Thompson" (Tom's son). (Hi, Chlewey!)
Like Thomson & Thompson in the English version of Tintin :)
Actually, I think there was some interference from subconscious memories
of reading about experiment with getting a Chimpanzee to understand
IIRC he was (nick)named Nim Chimpsky.
It does, however, reflect the way I pronounce his name. The same sound
occurs in Latin, e.g.
sumo, sumere, _sumpsi_ (<-- sum+si), sumptum (<-- sum+tum) "to take up,
[long 'u' in all forms]
>> introspection. But, I agree, it did give appear to give Chompskyism
>> an anglocentric slant; but I do not believe this was intended.
> Indeed. I believe this complaint can fairly be called obsolete as well:
> too many languages have now been discussed using various Chomskyan
Yep - that's what I thought. That's why I was using the past tense.
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760