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Language use & design: conflicts & their significance | Prof Noam Chomsky

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Published on Apr 9, 2013

04 April 2013 - Noam Chomsky - 'Language Use and Design: conflicts and their significance'

Full story: http://www.ucd.ie/news/2013/04APR13/0...

In this talk hosted by UCD School of Philosophy, University College Dublin, and the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, Noam Chomsky discusses his latest views on the nature and function of language. The lecture is followed by a wide ranging question and answer session covering topics both in linguistics and the philosophy of language.

In the field of linguistics, Noam Chomsky, who has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 1955, is credited with the creation of the theory of generative grammar, often considered the most significant contribution to the field of theoretical linguistics of the 20th century.

He first set out his abstract analysis of language in his doctoral dissertation (1955) and Syntactic Structures (1957). He also helped spark the cognitive revolution in psychology through his review of B. F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior, which challenged the behaviorist approach to the study of mind and language dominant in the 1950s. His naturalistic approach to the study of language has also affected the philosophy of language and mind. He is also credited with the establishment of the 'Chomsky hierarchy,' a classification of formal languages in terms of their generative power.

Daniel Yergin, a New York Times Magazine contributor maintains that "where others heard only a Babel of fragments, he found a linguistic order. His work has been compared to the unraveling of the genetic code of the DNA molecule."

He further declares that Chomsky's discoveries in linguistics have had an impact "on everything from the way children are taught foreign languages to what it means when we say that we are human."

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