domingo, 14 de agosto de 2011

Chomsky sobre la gramática universal

"There's a lot of confusion about universal grammar [...] Universal grammar is just the name for the theory of the genetic component of the language faculty. I mean, transparently there's some genetic component, there is a reason why my granddaughter reflexively identified some part of her environment as language related -which is no small trick, nobody knows how to duplicate that- and then, more or less reflexively, picked up the capacity that we are now using, whereas her pet, say kitten or chimpanzee [...] with exactly the same inputs couldn't even take the first step -it couldn't identify part of the environment as language related- obviously not the latter steps. Well, there are two possible answers to how that happens: one is 'it is a miracle', the other is that she has some specific genetic capacity [...] This is not controversial for anything except human higher mental faculties. For some reason when people investigate human higher mental faculties they have to be insane, you know [...] Everything else in the world we study by the standard methods of science, but when we talk about human higher mental faculties we have to become mystics, so therefore there is a controversy about the existence of universal grammar, which means a controversy about whether there is some genetic property that distinguishes humans from everybody else, which leads to the ability to do what we are now doing. But there shouldn't be any controversy about that. The only question is 'what is it?'"

Se insiste tanto en el activismo político de Chomsky que, con frecuencia, se olvidan sus aportaciones al estudio de la lingüística (entre otras disciplinas). Hace unos días, un amigo (programador) me habló de su influencia en el ámbito de la teoría informática y me animó a dedicar a sus investigaciones un tiempo que, a corto plazo, no tendré. Lo incluyo, no obstante, en mi (amplia) lista de cosas pendientes.

Disculpad los errores de transcripción.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario