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Noam Chomsky, December 7 1928

  • Avram Noam Chomsky

    Avram Noam Chomsky
    Avram Noam Chomsky or more famously, Noam Chomsky, was born to William and Elsie Chomsky on December 12, 1928. Both of his parents were teachers and Chomsky's father specialized in linguistics as a scholar of Hebrew at the Jewish teacher Training Institution. Noam learned Hebrew early in life and was involved in family debate about politics and current events. Link text
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    Early Years

    Chomsky was considered an intellectually brilliant child. His parents nurtured his natural curiosity. By age 10, Chomsky wrote an editorial piece for the school paper about the rise of fascism in Europe after the Spanish War. This piece would later be used by Chomsky as a foundation for an essay he presents at NYU. Link text
  • Period: to

    16-year-old Chomsky enrolls in an undergraduate program for general studies at the University of Pennsylvania

    Chomsky paid for his education by teaching Hebrew and may have started to think of perusing other activities growing bored with school. He met Zellig S. Harris who is arguably a big influence on Chomsky. Many suggest Harris’s influence can be seen in what evolved to Chomsky’s thesis for his Master’s. The Master’s thesis would ultimately be published as a book. Barsky, Robert F. (1997). Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-02418-1.
  • Graduate School

    Zellig Harris introduces Chomsky to Nathan Fine, Nelson Goodman, and W.V. Quine. Goodman a philosopher, viewed the human mind as a tubula rasa, or blank slate and Chomsky disagreed with this view. Chomsky suggested the capacity for language is innate in the mind. Chomsky felt environment influenced language development, but the innate structure in the brain potentially possess the framework for every language.
  • Joined staff at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in a position of assistant professor.

    Here, he wrote his first book ‘Syntactic Structures.’ He would later suggest B.F. Skinner's theory of language as learned behavior did not take into account the potential foundation for all grammar innate in the mind. This belief evolves to the Chomsky hierarchy and has been a big factor in other fields like cognitive science, philosophy, psychology, computer science, mathematics, childhood education, and anthropology. Link text
  • Syntactic Structures

    Syntactic Structures
    Syntactic Structures. The Hague: Mouton, 1957. Reprint. Berlin and New York, 1985; Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 2002. Translated as Structures Syntaxiques.
    France: Editions du Seuil, 1994.
  • Aspects of the Theory of Syntax

    Aspects of the Theory of Syntax
    Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1965. (Excerpted as Saussure Jakobson Hjelmslev Chomsky. Textos Selecionados, edited by V. Civita. Sao Paulo: Abril S.A. Cultural, 1985; Chapter 1 reprinted in Critical Theory Since 1965, edited by H.
    Adams and L. Searle, 40-58. Tallahassee: Florida State University Press, 1986; Excerpted as “La grammaire comme realite mentale.” In La Psychologie, edited by Jean-Francis Le Ny, 364-365. Paris: Larousse, 1995.)
  • Cartesian Linguistics

    Cartesian Linguistics
    Cartesian Linguistics. New York: Harper and Row, 1965. Reprint. Cartesian Linguistics. A Chapter in the History of Rationalist Thought. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1986; Christchurch, New Zealand: Cybereditions Corporation, 2002.
  • Chomsky Approach

    Chomsky’s suggestion of an innate foundation to language acquisition leads to the suggestion of the existence of a ‘Universal Grammar’ (UG). Examples of UG might be seen early in various child development stages. Regardless of native language, most babies go through a similar babbling and cooing phase. This stage sounds quite similar regardless of native spoken language the baby might hear. Link text
  • Sound Pattern of English

    Sound Pattern of English
    with Morris Halle. Sound Pattern of English. New York: Harper and Row, 1968. Reprint. Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press, 1991.
  • Language and Mind

    Language and Mind
    Language and Mind. New York: Harcourt Brace & World, Inc., 1968. (Based on the Beckman lectures delivered at the University of California at Berkeley, January 1967. Reprint. Enlarged edition. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972; reprinted as El Lenguaje y el Entendimiento. Barcelona: Planeta-Agostini, 1992.)
  • Current Issues in Linguistic Theory

    Current Issues in Linguistic Theory
    Current Issues in Linguistic Theory. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1970. (Reprinted as Thesen zur Theorie der generativen Grammatick. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Athenaum Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co., 1974.)
  • Studies on Semantics in Generative Grammar

    Studies on Semantics in Generative Grammar
    Studies on Semantics in Generative Grammar. The Hague: Mouton, 1972. Reprint. Berlin and New York, 1980.
  • Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory

    Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory
    Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory. MIT Humanities Library. Microfilm. 1955. New York and London: Plenum Press, 1975; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985
  • Reflections on Language

    Reflections on Language
    Reflections on Language. New York: Pantheon Books, 1975. (Reprinted as Reflexionen über die Sprache. Frankfurt/Maine: Suhrkamp, 1977; reprinted as Reflexiones sobre el lenguaje.Barcelona: Planeta-Agnostini, 1975; reprinted in On Language: Chomsky’s Classsic Works ”Language and Responsibility” and ”Reflections on Language” in One Volume. New York: The New Press, 1998; reprinted in Pragmatics: Critical Concept. vol. 5, 21-36. London: Routledge, 1998.
  • Essays on Form and Interpretation

    Essays on Form and Interpretation
    Essays on Form and Interpretation. North-Holland: Elsevier, 1977
  • Rules and Representations

    Rules and Representations
    Rules and Representations. New York: Columbia University Press and Oxford: Basil Blackwell Publisher, 1980. (Excerpted in The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (1980): 1-61, 1980.) Reprint. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.
  • Lectures on Government and Binding: The Pisa Lectures

    Lectures on Government and Binding: The Pisa Lectures
    Lectures on Government and Binding: The Pisa Lectures. Holland: Foris Publications, 1981. Reprint. 7th Edition. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1993.
  • Language and the Study of Mind

    Language and the Study of Mind
    Language and the Study of Mind. Tokyo: Sansyusya Publishing Co. Ltd., 1982. (Reprint of 1966 Japanese lectures, “Linguistics and the Science of Man” and “Language and the Study of Mind.”)
  • Some Concepts and Consequences of the Theory of Government and Binding

    Some Concepts and Consequences of the Theory of Government and Binding
    Some Concepts and Consequences of the Theory of Government and Binding. Linguistic Inquiry Monograph Six. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1982.
  • Noam Chomsky on The Generative Enterprise, A discussion with Riny Hyybregts and Henk van Riemsdijk.

    Noam Chomsky on The Generative Enterprise, A discussion with Riny Hyybregts and Henk van Riemsdijk.
    Noam Chomsky on The Generative Enterprise, A discussion with Riny Hyybregts and Henk van Riemsdijk. Dordrecht: Foris Publications, 1982. (Reprinted as “The Generative Enterprise” (in Japanese). Parts 1-13. Gengo 13, nos. 9-12; 14, nos. 1-9 (1984-85)).
  • Modular Approaches to the Study of the Mind

    Modular Approaches to the Study of the Mind
    Modular Approaches to the Study of the Mind. San Diego: State University Press, 1984
  • Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use

    Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use
    Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1986. (Reprinted as O Conhecimento da Lígua Sua Natureza, Origem e Uso. Porto:Caminho, 1994; reprinted as Cunoasterea Limbii. Bucharest: Editura Stiintifica, 1996; reprinted as Biblioteca de Stiinte. New York; China: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 2001.)
  • Barriers

    Barriers
    Barriers. Linguistic Inquiry Monograph Thirteen. Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press, 1986.
  • On Power and Ideology, The Managua Lectures

    On Power and Ideology, The Managua Lectures
    On Power and Ideology, The Managua Lectures. Boston: South End Press and Montreal and New York: Black Rose Books, 1987.
  • Language and Problems of Knowledge. The Managua Lectures

    Language and Problems of Knowledge. The Managua Lectures
    Language and Problems of Knowledge. The Managua Lectures. Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press, 1987; reprinted as Probleme Sprachlichen Wissens. Frankfurt: Beltz Athenaum, 1996.)
  • Language in a Psychological Setting

    Language in a Psychological Setting. Sophia Linguistica:Working Papers in Linguistics, no. 22, Tokyo: The Graduate School of Languages and Linguistics, Linguistic Institute for International Communication, Sophia University, 1987.
  • Generative Grammar: Its Basis, Development and Prospects

    Generative Grammar: Its Basis, Development and Prospects. Studies in English Linguistics and Literature, Special Issue, Kyoto: Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, 1988. (From lectures given at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, January 1987.)
  • Discurs Politic: Tres Converencies a Catalunya

    Discurs Politic: Tres Converencies a Catalunya. Barcelona: Editorial Empuries, 1993
  • Language and Thought

    Language and Thought
    Language and Thought. Wakefield, RI: Moyer Bell, 1993
  • The Minimalist Program

    The Minimalist Program
    The Minimalist Program. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1995 Translated as El programa minimista. Barcelona: Editorial Ariel (1998); translated in Japanese. Tokyo: TuttleMori Agency (1998).
  • “Derivation by Phase"

    “Derivation by Phase”, MIT Occasional Papers in Linguistics, no. 18, Cambridge, MA: MIT Working Papers in Linguistics, Department of Linguistic and Philosophy, 1999. (Unpublished revision 1999; reprinted in Festschrift for Kenneth Hale. Publication pending).
  • New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind

    New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind
    New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

    New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
    The Architecture of Language, edited by Nirmalangshu Mukherji, Bibudhendra Narayan Patnaik andRama Kant Agnihotri. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000. (Edited version of a lecture delivered at the University of Delhi, January 1996.
  • “Minimalist Inquiries: The Framework.”

    “Minimalist Inquiries: The Framework.” In Step by Step: Essays in Minimalist Syntax in Honor of Howard Lasnik, edited by Robert Martin, David Michaels and Juan Uriagereka, 89-155. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2000.
  • Su natura e linguaggio

    Su natura e linguaggio (On Nature and Language), edited by Adriana Belletti and Luigi Rizzi. Siena, Italy: Edizioni dell’Università degli Studi di Siena, 2001. (Collection of text related to Noam Chomsky’s visit to the Certosa di Pontignano, University of Siena, November 1999.)
  • On Nature and Language

    On Nature and Language
    On Nature and Language, edited by Adriana Belletti and Luigi Rizzi. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2002. (Collection of text related to Noam Chomsky’s visit to the Certosa di Pontignano, University of Siena, November 1999.)
  • Language and Politics

    Language and Politics
    Language and Politics, edited by C. Otero. Montreal and New York: Black Rose Books, 1988; Oakland, CA: Ak Press, 2004.
  • The Generative Enterprise Revisited: Discussions with Riny Huybregts, Henk van Riemsdijk, Naoki Fukui and Mihoko Zushi

    The Generative Enterprise Revisited: Discussions with Riny Huybregts, Henk van Riemsdijk, Naoki Fukui and Mihoko Zushi
    The Generative Enterprise Revisited: Discussions with Riny Huybregts, Henk van Riemsdijk, Naoki Fukui and Mihoko Zushi, Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 2004.
  • Leaving MIT for UA

  • Innate Language

    Video about innate language and Noam Chomsky Link text
  • Noam Chomsky suggests language has not evolved since at least the oldest recorded tribes of Africa.

    Chomsky suggests an infant from Papua New Guinea raised in the United States would have no difficulty learning English because of the innate capacity for language. Link text
  • Noam Chmosky - Communication is not language