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▶ Noam Chomsky on Language Aquisition - YouTube

How is it that we learn to speak and think in language so easily? Philosophers have argued about whether or not we have innate ideas. Whether we are born kno...
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108 seconds of animated video on Chomsky's gamechanging take on language learning and teaching

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The Idea of Universality in Linguistics and Human Rights | MIT video

The Idea of Universality in Linguistics and Human Rights | MIT video | TELT | Scoop.it

"Chomsky leads us through a history of language theory, concluding with the revolutionary model he championed: a universal grammar underpinning all languages that corresponds to an innate capacity of the human brain […] But he brandishes examples of how 'our moral and intellectual culture '.forcefully rejects universal moral judgments' -- such as continued U.S. refusal to approve anti-torture conventions.

In contrast, Elizabeth Spelke forcefully links 'universals in human nature to some of the developments in bringing about a greater balance in human rights.' Thirty years of cognitive and cross cultural research show that humans universally structure their world in terms of objects, have a universal capacity to represent numbers, and to represent other people as 'intentional, goal-directed agents whose freely chosen actions are subject to moral evaluation.'"

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Universal Grammar: a scientific idea ready for retirement

Universal Grammar: a scientific idea ready for retirement | TELT | Scoop.it

It's time to retire Universal Grammar. It had a good run, but there's nothing much it can bring us now in terms of what we want to know about human language. 

Shona Whyte's insight:

Benjamin Bergen argues that Chomsky's big idea has run its course.

http://www.edge.org/memberbio/benjamin_k_bergen

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