manaster at manaster at
Sat Feb 6 04:34:56 UTC 1999

On Tue, 2 Feb 1999 GregWeb at wrote:

>I found this post very interesting as I recently read The Language Instinct by
>Steven Pinker.   Chomsky apparently cannot explain how a universal grammar
>template would come to exist in the brain although it makes sense that it

Can anyone?

>Pinker makes a rather convincing argument for its evolution and

Pinker merely states a very general argument that it had to have
evolved.  He does not know how it evolved.  And the whole
thing does presuppose that Chomsky is right to say there is
such a "mental organ" as "universal grammar".  The evidence for
this is to my mind very weak since the crucial experiments
have not been done for obvious reasons.

>and he does not posit the existence of a grammar gene.

Does Chomsky posit one specific grammar gene?

> Neither
> does he imply that humans suddenly began speaking with lots of vowels,
> consonants and vocabulary roots.

I dont think Chomsky has ever said anything about where the
loads of phonemes and roots come from either.

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