LINGUIST List 6.19

Thu 12 Jan 1995

Disc: Kant and Innateness, One grammar/two languages

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  1. , Kant and Innateness
  2. Anthea F Gupta, One grammar two languages

Message 1: Kant and Innateness

Date: Thu, 22 Dec 1994 08:21:20 Kant and Innateness
From: <00dgchurmabsuvc.bsu.edu>
Subject: Kant and Innateness

Re Alan Huffmann's posting on "Kant and Innateness": If Kant did say
"something to the effect that `Anyone who posits innateness as a scientific
explanation is guilty of laziness of the mind'", then it appears to me that
"he was certainly" NOT "on the button", at least if I understand
"laziness of the mind" correctly. If X happens because Y is innate,
then this is a perfectly valid explanation for X's occurrence; if X
happens for some other reason, then it's not valid. The hard work will
be determining whether Y is IN FACT innate, and anyone who assumes it is
OR IT ISN'T is guilty of arational behavior (simply failing to use reason at
all), i.e. (?) "laziness of the mind".

Don Churma
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Message 2: One grammar two languages

Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 11:14:51 +One grammar two languages
From: Anthea F Gupta <ellguptaleonis.nus.sg>
Subject: One grammar two languages

) Date: Tue, 20 Dec 94 03:58:33 +0100
) From: lxalvarzudc.es (Celso Alvarez Caccamo)
) Subject: Re: Two languages / One grammar?
)
) Regarding John Cowan's (lojbabaccess.digex.net) message
) (LINGUIST 5-1460. Sat 17 Dec 1994), about John Gumperz's
) work on language convergence:
)
) a) Two languages can't have the same grammar. If they do,
) they are the same language. The two lexicons would be
) considered sets of cooccurrent lexical variants.

Wouldn't it be true to say that all efforts to define what constitutes "a
language" are doomed to failure? Because of the well-known constellation
of linguistic and social factors. Two varieties of what people call "the
same language" may have different grammars. So it's quite imaginable
that two varieties that people call "different languages" have the same
grammar.

Anthea Fraser GUPTA
National University of Singapore
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