The paradox of Noam Chomsky on language and powerWhen we study human language, we are approaching what some might call the "human essence," the distinctive qualities of mind that are, so far as we know, unique to man. So the obvious hypothesis is that our language is the result of the unfolding of a genetically determined program. In my opinion one should not speak of a "relationship" between linguistics and psychology, because linguistics is part of psychology. The child, placed in a linguistic community, is presented with a set of sentences that is limited and often imperfect, fragmented, and so on. In spite of this, in a very short time he succeeds in "constructing," in internalizing the grammar of his language, developing knowledge that is very complex, American linguist and political writer born on Dec. Avram Noam Chomsky was introduced to linguistics by his father, a Hebrew scholar who worked with historical linguistics.
Image by Andrew Rusk, via Wikimedia Commons. Whether those policies come from nominally liberal or conservative administrations, Chomsky asserts time and again that they ultimately serve the needs of elites at the expense of masses of people at home and abroad who pay the very dear cost of perpetual wars over resources and markets. In his book On Anarchism , Chomsky leaves little room for equivocation in his assessment of the role elites play in maintaining a state apparatus that suppresses popular movements:. If it is plausible that ideology will in general serve as a mask for self-interest, then it is a natural presumption that intellectuals, in interpreting history or formulating policy, will tend to adopt an elitist position, condemning popular movements and mass participation in decision making, and emphasizing rather the necessity for supervision by those who possess the knowledge and understanding that is required so they claim to manage society and control social change. This excerpt is but one minute example of Chomsky's fiercely independent stance against abuse of power in all its forms and his tireless advocacy for popular social movements. Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies : Based on the Massey Lectures, delivered in Canada in November , Necessary Illusions argues that, far from performing a watchdog role, the "free press" serves the needs of those in power.
Universal grammar UG in linguistics , is the theory of the genetic component of the language faculty , usually credited to Noam Chomsky. The basic postulate of UG is that a certain set of structural rules are innate to humans, independent of sensory experience. With more linguistic stimuli received in the course of psychological development , children then adopt specific syntactic rules that conform to UG. However, the latter has not been firmly established, as some linguists have argued languages are so diverse that such universality is rare. The theory of universal grammar proposes that if human beings are brought up under normal conditions not those of extreme sensory deprivation , then they will always develop language with certain properties e.
Annabelle Lukin has received internal research funding grants from Macquarie University. For instance, the mainstream American press, Herman and Chomsky argued, completely failed to see that the invasion of Vietnam was an act of American aggression. The argument of the book is very persuasive. It gives a central role to discourse as the vehicle of ideology, as the medium for the shaping of public opinion, and as a mechanism for reinforcing the contradictions and inequities of social structure. But, paradoxically, Chomsky see no role for linguistics in understanding how language can have such power. In accruing evidence for the claims for his analysis of the media, Chomsky has never recruited a single concept from linguistics.