[b-hebrew] A Reply - WAV question

Maurice A. O'Sullivan mauros at iol.ie
Sun May 30 12:49:27 EDT 2004


At 11:48 30/05/2004, UUC wrote:

>This is close
>to what Chomsky says, actually. There is a built-in mechanism in our minds
>for understanding the structure of language;

Three days ago a linguist called Larry Trask, who had never accepted this, 
died.

As his obituary in " The Times " [ London ] of March 28 stated:

 >> He rejected any theory that could not be supported through evidence and 
refuted much that was myth and conjecture. <<

and it went on to deal specifically with this point of Chomsky's

 >> Trask was an opponent of Chomsky's theories of Universal Grammar, first 
proposed in the late 1950s and by this time widely accepted. Chomsky had 
proposed that some fundamentals of grammar are hard-wired into the human 
brain before birth, but that some options within it are fixed later by 
experience. Trask believed that there was no evidence to support this idea, 
and that it should not be taught as fact. His own arguments were always 
based on sound knowledge of facts and scientific principles, and he would 
take the greatest pains to make sure they were understood by everyone from 
first-year undergraduates to colleagues and competitors. <<


Maurice A. O'Sullivan  [ Bray, Ireland ]
mauros at iol.ie





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