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ERIC Number: ED022766
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1966-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Current Scene in Linguistics: Present Directions.
Chomsky, Noam
College English, v27 n8 p587-95 May 1966
Two traditions are distinguishable in modern linguistic theory: the tradition of "universal grammar" which flourished in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the tradition of structural or descriptive linguistics which reached its peak 15 or 20 years ago. Universal grammar was concerned with (1) the relation of deep structure to surface forms and to the use and acquisition of language, (2) the act of perception, and (3) the acquisition of knowledge in general. Structural linguistics, on the other hand, has been particularly valuable for providing a methodology for the recording and study of factual language data. The linguists of today can begin to utilize the methods developed by structural linguists to scientifically investigate the problems which concerned the universal grammarians. We may well witness, then, a synthesis of these two traditions in language study which will allow our students to have insight into the complexities of the grammar they use unconsciously and its relation to the mysteries of the human intelligence itself. (DL)
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