Generative and Universal Grammar: frequently asked questions

The questions and answers below are to explain on the stand my grammar approach has regarding the Universal Grammar by Noam Chomsky. Undeniably, Mr. Chomsky’s work has been of important reference in my language activity. I began inventing my grammar long before I ever heard about Mr. Chomsky, however.

 

Feel welcome to email me about generative grammar. Comments will be posted only by consent.

 

1. Is there literally a universal grammar, to learn any language of choice?

 

A uniform grammar for all languages in the world is impossible. I am not aware of any such postulate by Mr. Chomsky.

 

A grammar is generative when it tells the principles or variables a person can use to produce standard language independently, without following formulations by other people. In other words, with generative grammar, we do not consider if we use the Present Simple because a book says we do so when “we want to say this or that”. We consider the Present Simple when our own cognitive and spatio-temporal orientation encourages it.

 

Mr. Chomsky’s grammar tells what principles many languages would have in common. My grammar would offer variables for primarily American English.

Feel welcome to read: Grammar is always a project

 

2. Does the Universal Grammar imply there are actually Language Acquisition Devices in human brains?

 

Linguistically, a device may be something devised, as well as a faculty that devises. This latter meaning would apply to Mr. Noam Chomsky’s theory best.

 

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition defines the verb to devise: “to form, plan, or arrange in the mind; design or contrive; to suppose; imagine”.

 

However, I do not follow the notion of the Language Acquisition Device. I follow the term of the human language faculty.

Feel welcome to read: Parameters and devices

 

3. Could language be a result of a genetic mutation?

 

Mr. Noam Chomsky has used the word “mutation” with reference to language as a result of human evolution.

 

I think people can evolve language during lifespan, without any corresponding genetic change. Human language skills are not the same if to compare childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, while the DNA retains identity in good shape. My sense for evolving is “to achieve gradually, to work out, to devise.” I never use the term “mutation” with regard to language.

Feel welcome to read: American English ― where from?

 

4. Is language fully explainable in terms of principles and neural models?

 

Natural language learning and use would not have been possible without the human person. There are no “mathematical”, “purely functional”, or “strictly logical” connectivities in human brains. Outcome of isolated neuron excitation can be considered only in terms of statistics. Without individual work, the brain would not just “start up” and produce language.

 

A simple example might come from a mail person: even only two, but absolutely identical postcards are unlikely.
Feel welcome to read: Feelings!

 

5. What is spatialization and is it universal?

 

Spatialization means that we can use some of the words we have learned regarding earthly space ― also for time. In English, we can say before that house at the end of the road, before that turn to the left, as well as before noon, or before twelve hours.

 

All natural languages spatialize, thus we could say that spatialization is universal. Every language would spatialize a bit differently, however.

Feel welcome to read: Grammar ― why think about space?

 

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