FAQ: Generative & Universal Grammar

■→IN POLISH

The questions and answers below are to explain on my grammar approach with regard to the Universal Grammar by Noam Chomsky. His work has been of important reference in my language activity generally. However, I invented and began building my method long before I ever heard about Mr. Chomsky.

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. His grammar tells what principles many languages have in common, owing to human inborn capability for language.

My grammar does not offer universals. It presents cognitive variables that people can learn. We do not need to hold them for inborn. The variables refer to a process that all natural languages have, spatialization.

Feel welcome to read,
■→Grammar — Why think about space?
■→Grammatical Aspects or cognitive variables

2. Are there actually Language Acquisition Devices in human brains and can brains be programmed?

Linguistically, a device may be something devised, but also a faculty that devises. This latter meaning might apply best to Mr. Chomsky’s theory of LAD.

I prefer phrases as the human or the brain language faculty. Language and speech are not only Broca and Wernicke. Without eyesight, hearing, or touch, people would be very much impeded in speaking or writing, and brain sensory cytostructure specializes also for language.

If a person learns Chinese, his or her brain sensory areas make neural structures and connections for Chinese written characters as well as speech sounds. If the person learns a language to use the Cyrillic, Latin, or another alphabet, his or her brain visual, auditory, and tactile structures specialize for that language. Naturally, if a human being learns Chinese together with Latin or other characters, the brain evolves specialization that is relevant for that.

Biological properties of human neural matter do not allow programming as we know it for artificial intelligence, hence evolving looks the proper word. The term evolution is not bound to mean ■→speciate differences, please compare ■→Merriam-Webster. It can apply regardless of what particular language would be learned, or what age the learner would be. Equally, we might say humans are capable of evolving skill.

I do not follow theories of language modules. Language living reality actually rejects inner encapsulation: fMRI imaging has found language to be the single strongest factor in integrating the work of the brain entire. It must be that language structures in unimpeded people do actually connect with all major brain regions throughout lifespan, and a phrase as the brain language faculty renders that without equating faculties with modules.

Feel welcome to read:
■→1. Neurophysiology of feedback
■→Grammar is always a project
■→Human brains, parameters, and devices

3. Could language be a result of genetic mutation?

Mr. Chomsky has used the word mutation to speak about language as possibly a result of human speciate evolution.

My sense for evolving is working out, gradually achieving, or devising. To compare childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, the DNA retains identity in good shape, though much may change in the way the human being speaks and writes. This lifespan spontaneous evolution was most probably part in shaping American English. I never use the term mutation with regard to language.

Feel welcome to read,
■→2. The role of feedback in language learning
■→American English ― where from?


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4. Is there one decisive or definitive grammar we could call “the true grammar”?

There is no such grammar course, theory, or book, and it is not likely there is ever going to be. Mr. Chomsky’s theory is about a basis for all languages to have in common. This basis does not lay out the detail that allows communication in any particular language.

Natural language learning and use requires the human person. This means there are as many grammar and language faculties as there are language speakers. There is no “mathematical”, “purely functional”, or “strictly logical” brain connectivity to allow making rules for everyone, even if to speak just one natural language.

Long scholarly traditions are not the answer, either. If we found the oldest grammar book in the world and had it approved by as many educational authorities as possible, the objective would remain for our schooling to provide effective advice on language. Our effectiveness will always depend on the learner, if he or she finds our grammar way agreeable.

Feel welcome to read:
■→Feelings! (Stative verbs)
■→3. The role of feedback in language use

5. How could spatialization be generative?

Prescriptive grammars offer rules for particular contexts. The rules mostly base on examples from language use.

Generative grammars base on language use too, but their purpose is to present regularities the language user independently can control. Mr. Chomsky’s grammar provides parameters. My grammar provides cognitive variables that relate to two simple facts of life.

Fact One
There is not and there cannot be a grammar rule to tell whether we want to say that we live somewhere, we are living, have lived, or we have been living somewhere. Whenever we speak, we take up own resolves, to express own thought.

Fact Two
All along, we people live ON Earth. We usually view lands or seas as extents. We give at least psychological borders to areas IN which we are. We perceive routes and ways TO places. We happen to be AT landmarks and places.

Such are human natural variables for space, in English. If we use these variables to create text in spoken or written natural language, they become generative. We do not name them variables because they would change often; it is for the fact that the human person decides what variable he or she a given moment prefers, and even very similar contexts may bring different, yet equally correct results.

Feel welcome to read:
■→Grammar Weblog
Grammatical Aspects mapped cognitively

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