Spanning more than two decades of thinking about generative approaches to Universal Grammar, the two interviews with Noam Chomsky in this book permit a rare and illuminating insight into his views on numerous issues in linguistics and beyond. The first discussion dates from the early days of the so-called Government Binding Theory, the second one took place after a decade of Minimalism. Thereby the evolution and the dynamics in linguistic theorizing are dramatically revealed. Not surprisingly, perhaps, many of the struggles that generative linguists faced in the early 80s, when trying to establish themselves in academia, are raging just as fiercely in these early years of the new century. New opportunities have arisen, cognitive neuroscience is progressing, but many of the core issues are as difficult to tackle now as they were then. Chomsky's always frank and direct answers and statements, helped along by the pleasantly informal atmosphere of the discussions, make this book not only a valuable source of enlightenment but also an easily accessible one.
Scholars of grammar, cognitive scientists, and philosophers will profit by reading this book, but anyone with an ardent interest in this marvellous, eminently human achievement of evolution called language will want to read about it in the words of the undisputed grand master of linguistic research, Noam Chomsky.
OF FURTHER INTEREST:
With an introduction by David W. Lightfoot
2nd ed. 2002. xviii, 117 pages. Paperback.
Euro 14.95 / sFr 24.00 / *US$ 14.95
* for orders placed in North America
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