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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Academic Paper


Title: The Crippled Creativity - A Brief Theoretical Framework
Paper URL: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2015334
Author: Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://isid.academia.edu/DebaprasadBandyopadhyay
Institution: Indian Statistical Institute
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Philosophy of Language; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: This paper mainly concentrates on the creative speaking/hearing subject’s body as it is found in Chomsky’s Psycholinguistics in relation to its social environment or social context. It tries to analyze the distinct relationship between Empty Linguistic Organism and human malleability, i.e., the main concern of this paper is how a “physical organ” (Chomsky, 1976: 18) for linguistic creativity or Language Acquisition Device (LAD) is crippled by the outside sociality (behavioral manipulation/threat/violence by the coercive institutions). This effort to correlate LAD and outside sociality would prove the Myth of “ideal speaker-Hearer.” In this way one could switch over to Orwell’s problem or Freud’s problem from Plato’s problem that is mainly concerned with the metanarrative of universal speaking subject. In solution to Orwell’s problem, “...we must discover institutional and other factors that block insight and understanding in crucial areas of our lives and ask why they are effective…” (Chomsky, 1987: xxvii) Now the ontological problem of speaking subjects begins: Problems of learning Theory (LT) for the organism O in the Cognitive domain (D) is LT (O, D) (Chomsky, 1976:18). This Theory can be regarded as function that has certain output (a cognitive structure of some sort). One may specifically reformulate LT (O, D) by considering O as Humans (H) and D as Language (L). Thus one may investigate LT (H, L) as L is strikingly different from non-humans. However, LT shows certain discrepancies as there is no place for outside sociality in LT and its Influence to the biological body of H. Therefore we need to reformulate LT by putting Social Constraints S within this theory. Thus, natural organism H is to be reinterpreted as SH, which is a natural H bound by social constraints. This reformulation, thus, is now represented as LT (SH, L). The output then is not infinite sentences, but finite sentences with repetitions, clichés, stereotypes and phatic communes. This hypothesis (crippling of linguistic creativity) was approved by Noam Chomsky himself (personal correspondence, 1994).
Type: Individual Paper
Status: In Progress
Publication Info: International Journal of Communications. Vol. VIII, Nos.1-2, pp. 93-103, 1998
URL: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2015334


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