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Main page » Non-Fiction » Science literature » Linguistics » Current Issues in Linguistic Theory by Noam Chomsky

Current Issues in Linguistic Theory by Noam Chomsky


From the Author
In this paper, I will restrict the term "linguistic theory" to systems of hypotheses concerning the general features of human language put forth in an attempt to account for a certain range of linguistic phenomena. I will not be concerned with systems of terminology or methods of investigation (analytic procedures).

The central fact to which any significant linguistic theory must address itself is this: a mature speaker can produce a new sentence of his language on the appropriate occasion, and other speakers can understand it immediately, though it is equally new to them. Most of our linguistic experience, both as speakers and hearers, is with new sentences; once we have mastered a language, the class of sentences with which we can operate fluently and without difficulty or hesitation is so vast that for all practical purposes (and, obviously, for all theoretical purposes), we may regard it as infinite.

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Tags: linguistic, language, systems, theory, sentence, systems, Currect, Theory, linguistic, Issues