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The Gospel according to Chomsky

From:daniel andreasson <danielandreasson@...>
Date:Thursday, April 11, 2002, 12:44
I got this in my e-mail today and thought I'd share it
with you guys. This one is only funny if you are familiar
with the works of Chomsky, but don't believe in them (me),
or actually do believe in them (you guys in the US), but
have a sense of humor or irony (the people on CONLANG).

||| daniel

In the beginning was Bloomfield. And his theory was without form, and
structuralist; and darkness was upon the face of Chomsky.
And Chomsky said: Let there be transformations, and there were
transformations. And Chomsky saw the transformations, that they were
and Chomsky divided the surface from the deep structure. And that was
start of generative grammars.

And Chomsky made three great lights. And the greatest light was
adequacy; and the lesser lights were descriptive adequacy, and
observational adequacy. And Chomsky set them into the firmament of the
'Aspects' meta-theory, and he said: Let all other grammars be judged by

Chomsky said: Let MIT bring forth grammarians and grammars yielding
after my kind, and the trees yielding sentences after their kind. And
Chomsky blessed them, and said: Be infinitely recursive, and multiply.
Chomsky saw that they were good.

And Chomsky said: Let us make graduate students in our image, and let
have dominion over the psychologist in the laboratory, and the
in the ivory towers, and over every creeping linguist that creepeth over
the earth.

And this was the `Aspects' model. And the `Aspects' model was with
and, for a short while, the ` Aspects' model was Chomsky.

All grammars were made by him; and without him was not any linguistic
theory that was made. In him was the Competence Hypothesis; and the
Competence Hypothesis was the light of all grammarians. And the theory
shineth upon the Behaviorists, but they comprehended it not.

And the doubters saith unto him, Noam. We know not whither thou goest;
how can we know the way. Chomsky saith unto them. I am the way, the
and the life of linguistics; no-one cometh unto a true grammar, but by
Competence Hypothesis.

For `Aspects' came not in old time by the will of Dualists; but by
as he was moved by the Holy Ghost of his linguistics degree.

Then Chomsky so loved linguistic theory, that he gave his most recently
begotten child, Government and Binding, that whosoever believeth in it
shall not suffer a paradigm change, but shall have everlasting validity.

For Chomsky sent not Government and Binding into linguistic theory to
condemn transformations, but that transformations through it might be

But there were false prophets among the linguists, even as there shall
false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,
like Categorial Grammar, even denying the book that begat their
framework, and bringing swift disaster upon their heads and modifiers.

And they will gain many adherents to their dissolute practices, through
whom the true way of Chomsky shall be brought into disrepute, especially
Edinburgh. And in their greed for SERC funding they will trade upon your
credulity with sheer fabrications.

The judgement long decreed for them has not been idle; perdition waits
them with unsleeping eyes. The day of Chomsky will come again,
as a thief.

On that day, `Heads without bars' shall disappear with a great gushing
sound, and f-structures shall disintegrate in flames; and Universal
and all that is in it, shall be laid bare.

Since even the whole of MIT is to break up in this way, think what sort
people you ought to be, what devout and dedicated lives you should live!

Wherefore, beloved, with these things to look forward to, be diligent
ye be at peace with ` Aspects', without blemish and above reproach in
sight. And remember that the patience of Chomsky is our salvation, as is
shown in his writings in Linguistic Inquiry where he speaks of these
things; though they contain some obscure passages, with which they that
unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also his other writings, unto
their own destruction.

But you, my friends, are forewarned. Beware lest ye also, being led away
with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.

(Found in Edinburgh, GB)


Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
John Cowan <jcowan@...>