A Linguistic Refresher from Chomsky

Summer school is a good time for a refresher on phonetics and in particular, linguistics.  The mind bending endless coil of classifying language from a source that differs with every individual is good for taking your mind off the endless coil of conflict that’s happening in regions of the world.  Chomsky of course would disagree with this because “The world isn’t divided into regions, but we use that notion all the time because it’s useful.”  The way we amass our language as children is individual but close enough to others that we can converse.  Our childhood language experience influences the rest of our speaking lives. It is our unique mind brain that assimilates language.   Our ability to get what we think and perceive into words is a major influence on our life’s journey.  The concept of I-language – the (internal) notion of language and E-language the (external) notion of language or everything that’s not internalised, is useful when working in communication.  Certainly it’s invaluable in my work, but here Chomsky says “Possibly there’s no coherent notion of E-Language.”  I’m feeling better already.  Chomsky also said “Perhaps literature will forever give far deeper insight into ‘the full human person’ than any model of scientific inquiry can hope to do.”  Cheers.

Noam Chomsky

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