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symbols, semantic behaviors, and concept attainment.

from On Language, "On Cognitive Capacity"

There has been much discustion of the so-called 'innateness hypothesis," which holds that one of the faculties of the mind, common to the species, is a faculaty of language that serves the two basic functions of rationalist theory [competence, coherence]: it provides a sensory system for the preliminary analysis of linguistic data [performance], and a schematism that determines, quite narrowly, a certain class of grammars [syntax]. Each grammar is a theory of a particular language, specifying formal and semantic properties [words] of an infinite array of sentences [strings]. These sentences, each with its particular structure, constitute the language generated [predicted] by the grammar. The languages so generated are those that can be "learned" in the normal way. [i.e.] The language faculty, given appropriate stimulation, will construct a grammar; the person knows the language generated by the constructed grammar. This knowledge can then be used to understand what is heard and to produce discourse as an expression of thought within the constraints of internalized principles, in a manner appropriate to situations as these are conceived by other mental faculties, free from stimulus control [e.g. behavioral conditioning].

[1977:12-13, emphasis added]

UG is essentially an attempt to pair ideation to language performance rather than to deconstruct recurring modalities or to differentiate syntax. at this level of observation, in usage, "recursion" -- "internalized principles" of communication processing -- ought to be understood as an unconscious capability to reproduce and manipulate symbolic terms presented by the preceptible environment (auditory, verbal, visual) to the language learner.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jul 13th, 2007 at 08:35:37 PM EST
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