Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

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276

The Tongues of Man

on Noam Chomsky

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terms
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notes

this one was good (or at least more interesting to me). about the two sides of Noam Chomsky: politics, and linguistics (with a focus on the latter). explained some of Chomsky's linguistic views but I don't remember enough to summarize it here. I'll probably have to read his stuff at some point

Steiner, G. (2009). The Tongues of Man. In Steiner, G. At the New Yorker. New Directions, pp. 276-294

279

[...] Chomsky saw--and this, I believe, has been his most penetrating insight--that a valid model of linguistic behavior must account for the extraordariny fact that all of us perpetually and effortlessly use strings and combinations of words which we have never heard before, which we have never been taught specifically, and which quite obviously do not arise in conditioned response to any identifiable stimulus in our environment. Almost from the earliest stages of his linguistic life, a child will be able to construct and to understand a fantastic number of utterances that are quite new to him yet that he somehow knows to be acceptable sentences in his language. Conversely, he will quickly demonstrate his instinctive rejection of (that is, his failure to grasp) word orders and syntactic arrangements that are unacceptable though it may be that none of these have been specifically pointed out to him. At every stage, from earliest childhood on, the human use of language goes far beyond all "taught" or formal precedent, and far beyond the aggregate of individually acquired and stored experience. "These abilities", says Chomsky, "indicate that there must be fundamental processes at work quite independently of 'feedback' from the environment." The dynamics of human communication arise from within.

—p.279 by George Steiner 2 years, 1 month ago

[...] Chomsky saw--and this, I believe, has been his most penetrating insight--that a valid model of linguistic behavior must account for the extraordariny fact that all of us perpetually and effortlessly use strings and combinations of words which we have never heard before, which we have never been taught specifically, and which quite obviously do not arise in conditioned response to any identifiable stimulus in our environment. Almost from the earliest stages of his linguistic life, a child will be able to construct and to understand a fantastic number of utterances that are quite new to him yet that he somehow knows to be acceptable sentences in his language. Conversely, he will quickly demonstrate his instinctive rejection of (that is, his failure to grasp) word orders and syntactic arrangements that are unacceptable though it may be that none of these have been specifically pointed out to him. At every stage, from earliest childhood on, the human use of language goes far beyond all "taught" or formal precedent, and far beyond the aggregate of individually acquired and stored experience. "These abilities", says Chomsky, "indicate that there must be fundamental processes at work quite independently of 'feedback' from the environment." The dynamics of human communication arise from within.

—p.279 by George Steiner 2 years, 1 month ago

(noun) a view that there is only one kind of ultimate substance / (noun) the view that reality is one unitary organic whole with no independent parts / (noun) monogenesis / (noun) a viewpoint or theory that reduces all phenomena to one principle

294

There is a strong streak of monism in Chomsky's desires to get to the root of things

—p.294 by George Steiner
confirm
2 years, 1 month ago

There is a strong streak of monism in Chomsky's desires to get to the root of things

—p.294 by George Steiner
confirm
2 years, 1 month ago