Robert Holmstedt Posted December 13, 2018 Share Posted December 13, 2018 Besides the question of which linguistic theory appeals to you in terms of presentation, etc., the deeper question that *ought* to guide one's choice is whether the philosophy of language, mind, and human underlying the theory is compatible with your own philosophical positions. For instance, I once had a very prominent functionalist (now deceased) tell me that "it's all about materialism" (of the mind, of the human, of language as impulses that are reactions to stimuli). This is the contemporary revival of Skinner's behaviouralism. The linguist was trying to convert me, in a friendly way, since I was the lone generativist in that linguistics department. He did quite the opposite, since while some of Chomsky's linguistics are also based in materialism, the essential mentalism of the model accords better with my Christian anthropology, even if I may interpret mentalism in a way that Chomsky would likely disapprove. Other topics that are relevant are the issues of innateness and human nature. Before dismissing Chomskyan generative linguistics, I suggest reading one or both of these two books: Snith, Neil. 2004. Chomsky: Ideas and Ideals. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. McGilvray, James A. 2013. Chomsky: Language, Mind, and Politics. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Polity Press. 4 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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