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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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Discussion Details

Title: Problems with Recent Proposals on Recursion & FLN
Submitter: Oren Sadeh Leicht
Description: I think saying that the claim of recursion being a single essential trait
of human language has no content confuses a few points.

Human language, under Chomsky's view (and I guess Hauser and Fitch, too),
is regarded as a mental state, part of the human mind, or I-language.
Recursion is a property of human minds, not necessarily found in (E-)languages.

Thus it is perfectly logical to assert that a language may lack recursion.
It may still be learned (perhaps badly) by recursion which is in the mind
of humans beings, but not in the langauge itself.
Date Posted: 02-May-2006
Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language
LL Issue: 17.1352
Posted: 02-May-2006

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