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The Biology of the Language Faculty: Its Perfection, Past and Future

The Biology of the Language Faculty: Its Perfection, Past and Future

This video was recorded at MIT World Series: Where Does Syntax Come From? Have We All Been Wrong?. Noam Chomsky, around whose work much of the Syntax series revolves, gives listeners a glimpse into the evolution of his own thinking, with an emphasis on areas of linguistics where computational considerations play a major role. Chomsky briefly outlines the key components of a biologically based linguistics that began to emerge 50 years ago: first, a genetic language endowment (Universal Grammar), which interacts with the external environment, and second, the individual's development and learning strategies. While UG has been called "controversial," says Chomsky, the "alternative is magic," since something has to account for the fact that "my granddaughter picked out part of her environment as... Show More
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