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The grammar of a language is a device that describes the structure of that language. The grammar is comprised of a set of rules whose goal is twofold: first these rules can be used to create sentences of the associated language and only these, and second they can be used to classify whether a given sentence is an element of the language or not. The goal of(More)
A grammar can be regarded as a device that enumerates the sentences of a language. We study a sequence of restrictions that limit grammars first to Turing machines, then to two types of system from which a phrase structure description of the generated language can be drawn, and finally to finite state IV[arkov sources (finite automata). These restrictions(More)
We argue that an understanding of the faculty of language requires substantial interdisciplinary cooperation. We suggest how current developments in linguistics can be profitably wedded to work in evolutionary biology, anthropology, psychology, and neuroscience. We submit that a distinction should be made between the faculty of language in the broad sense(More)
This book is an outstanding contribution to the philosophical study of language and mind, by one of the most influential thinkers of our time. In a series of penetrating essays, Noam Chomsky cuts through the confusion and prejudice which has infected the study of language and mind, bringing new solutions to traditional philosophical puzzles and fresh(More)
The biolinguistic perspective regards the language faculty as an ‘‘organ of the body,’’ along with other cognitive systems. Adopting it, we expect to find three factors that interact to determine (I-) languages attained: genetic endowment (the topic of Universal Grammar), experience, and principles that are languageor even organism-independent. Research has(More)
Language serves as a cornerstone for human cognition, yet much about its evolution remains puzzling. Recent research on this question parallels Darwin's attempt to explain both the unity of all species and their diversity. What has emerged from this research is that the unified nature of human language arises from a shared, species-specific computational(More)
The evolution of the faculty of language largely remains an enigma. In this essay, we ask why. Language's evolutionary analysis is complicated because it has no equivalent in any nonhuman species. There is also no consensus regarding the essential nature of the language "phenotype." According to the "Strong Minimalist Thesis," the key distinguishing feature(More)