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Re: ALERT: Chomsky Giving a Talk on Language Creation?

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 9:08
From:    David Peterson <ThatBlueCat@...>
> This is what I heard just about thirty minutes ago. A couple of > my professors are going to the LSA in Boston, and apparently, > allegedly (this is second-hand info), Noam Chomsky's going to be > giving a talk on language creation. I don't know what about, or > why, or really anything else. The LSA website lists the following: > > Friday, 9 January 7:30 PM Noam Chomsky (MIT) > 'Three factors in language design: Background and prospects' > > That seems pretty cryptic, to me. So, a few questions: > > 1.) Does anyone have more (or more accurate) information about this?
Almost certainly Chomsky is not referring to what we as conlangers mean by designing languages. Probably he is referring to the architecture of the language module of the brain that he has been propounding for decades. Given the linguistics' community's disdain for conlanging, I suspect that even Chomsky would stand a chance of being laughed off the stage were *that* his subject matter.
> 2.) Is anyone in Boston/going to the LSA?
I will, in fact, be going to the LSA, and unless there's something wrong with the flight, I will be attending that talk myself this Thursday.
> 3.) Is there any way we can find out what he says when he says it?
It's possible I'll have access to a computer there on campus, so if I do and there's anything particularly relevant I'll post something to the list.
> That's it for now. I'd be interested in hearing about any of this. > If I'd known that this was going down, I might've tried to go...
Well, he hasn't been at the LSA for a number of years, and the rumor has it that he'll be retiring after this year, so that's the reason *I* wanted to go. (Of course, precisely the same rumor has been circulating for the last 10 years or so.) ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637