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AVRAM NOAM CHOMSKY BIOGRAPHY GENERATIVE LINGUISTICS Noam Chomsky belongs to the School of thought known as generative linguistics This is a school of thought.

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Presentation on theme: "AVRAM NOAM CHOMSKY BIOGRAPHY GENERATIVE LINGUISTICS Noam Chomsky belongs to the School of thought known as generative linguistics This is a school of thought."— Presentation transcript:

1 AVRAM NOAM CHOMSKY BIOGRAPHY GENERATIVE LINGUISTICS Noam Chomsky belongs to the School of thought known as generative linguistics This is a school of thought that essentially describes the complexity of language as an innate system. According to generative linguistics all languages stems from a universal grammar which is a subconscious set of rules used to determine structures of sentences. There are many different approaches to this school of thought, Chomsky’s is considered the “minimalist program” Before Noam Chomsky generative linguistics arguably did not exist. Many of the branches in generative linguistics were created by him. STUDY QUESTIONS What is it that we know, when we know a language? How is this knowledge acquired? What is the physical basis, in neural mechanisms, for the systems of knowledge and use of language? Is language innate or learned? MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS Chomsky has never proven that there is a universal grammar only observed Some believe that language is not innate, and that it must be taught and conditioned His theories are often countered with the argument a universal grammar can’t exist because there are many languages RESEARCH METHODS Taking short sentences and displaying that people can understand them in a complicated way Observing children, and noticing that children (no matter what language they speak) learn language at the same rate in the same stages Much of Noam Chomsky’s research came from logic. He introduced his questions about language and using situations from life answered them by applying his theories REMAINING QUESTIONS CRITICISMS AND PROBLEMS How can it be proved that language acquisition is an innate system? Is language innate or learned? (this will always remain the major question in linguistics) Noam Chomsky’s most famous theory is transformational grammar Transformational grammar refers to the idea that sentences have layers 1) the surface structure and 2) the deep structure. The surface is composed of the basic rules of the particular language but the deep surface taps into the unconscious of the speaker and listener. The deep structure is similar between all languages. The deep structure is what allows people to understand language and to make complex interpretation of sentences He argued that the ability to learn language is a function built into human being and that this structure allows humans to acquire language. Born December 7 th 1928 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Known as the “father of modern linguistics” He was born into a Jewish family and has one younger brother He began studying at the University of Pennsylvania at age 16 and to pay for the cost of his undergraduate studies he taught Hebrew. He married Carol Doris Schatz in 1947 and they remained married until 2008, the year of her death “Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.” STUDY ERA Chomsky’s most notable work which introduced transformational grammar is the novel Syntactic Structures published in 1957 In 1965 he published Aspects of The Theory of Syntax which further explained transformational grammar and delved deeper into the reasons why humans can learn language


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