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ERIC Number: ED024046
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Oct-17
Pages: 54
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Myth of Mentalism in Linguistics. Final Report.
Cowan, J.L.
The author endeavors to penetrate the "mists o f mentalistic myth" which enshroud the "very real, solid, and substantial results of generative or transformational linguistics." In attempting to clarify and clear up misunderstandings about theories of grammar as put forth by Chomsky (whose practice, the author feels, is "superior to his description of it"), the author discusses what he considers to be essential points of agreement between Chomsky and Bloomfield. He states that there is and can be no such thing as "the (only) correct grammar even of the English of some limited linguistic group at some particular time." Grammars should be treated as scientific theories "since it is only with this limitation that mentalism in linguistics has any plausibility whatsoever." There is nothing in linguistic practice which should lead to the belief that the internal structure and operation of a grammar is in any way identifiable with, or a duplication of, the internal structure or operation of a mind or a brain. A grammar represents, ideally, the output of the speaker-hearer-judge. This paper will appear in "Thought and Language: An Interdisciplinary Symposium," to be edited by J.L. Cowan and published by the University of Arizona Press, Spring 1969. (AMM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Arizona Univ., Tucson.
Note: Paper presented at Univ. of Arizona Dept. of Philosophy Symposium on Thought and Language, February 1968.