Thursday, October 11, 2007
Roberts, Moss. "A Brief Review of the Work of Professor Noam Chomsky." ZNET CHINA September 14, 2007
As a scholar of linguistics, Professor Chomsky is one of the founders of a school called generative transformational grammar. This school of linguistic research and analysis develops the theory that the power to acquire and utilize language is inborn and found only in humans. This theory rejects the idea that the capacity to learn and produce language develops only mechanically through external conditioning. A child's speech does not simply imitate what has been heard. Rather, external conditioning is actively received and worked upon as the mind (renxin) grows and develops the ability to generate new ideas and new sentences. The mind is the principal agent, the creative factor. By the age of five or six the result of this process is the basic mastery of a language, the ability to transform "finite words and rules" into, as Barsky says, "an infinite number of sentences." The process unfolds throughout life. . . . More here: http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=103&ItemID=13783.