Quotes About Universal Grammar

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Quotes About Universal Grammar

Its perfectly obvious that there is some genetic factor that distinguishes humans from other animals and that it is language-specific. The theory of that genetic component, whatever it turns out to be, is what is called universal grammar.
— Noam Chomsky —

It seems a miracle that young children easily learn the language of any environment into which they were born. The generative approach to grammar, pioneered by Chomsky, argues that this is only explicable if certain deep, universal features of this competence are innate characteristics of the human brain. Biologically speaking, this hypothesis of an inheritable capability to learn any language means that it must somehow be encoded in the DNA of our chromosomes. Should this hypothesis one day be verified, then lingusitics would become a branch of biology.

— Niels Kaj Jerne

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