Instructional Development Timeline
Noam Chomsky

Noam ChomskyNoam Chomsky (1928- ) is an American linguist, philosopher, and social activist. Chomsky is known as one of the fathers of modern linguistics. Fifty years ago, Chomsky proposed "Humans are able to learn language so quickly because some knowledge of grammar is hardwired into our brains."

 

 

 

Bio

Born to Jewish parents in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 7, 1928, Noam Chomsky has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955. In 1961 he was appointed full Professor in MIT's Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics (now the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy). From 1966 to 1976 he held the Ferrari P. Ward Professorship of Modern Languages and Linguistics. In 1976 he was appointed Institute Professor.

 

 

Research

Now, cognitive scientists at The Johns Hopkins University have confirmed a striking prediction of the controversial hypothesis that human beings are born with knowledge of certain syntactical rules that make learning human languages easier.

"This research shows clearly that learners are not blank slates; rather, their inherent biases, or preferences, influence what they will learn. Understanding how language is acquired is really the holy grail in linguistics," said lead author Jennifer Culbertson, who worked as a doctoral student in Johns Hopkins' Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

The study provided evidence remarkably consistent with Chomsky's hypothesis.

 

Resources

 

Noam Chomsky Official Website

The Faculty of Language: What's Special About it?. By Steven Pinker & Ray Jackendoff. March, 2005.

Speech! By Samuel Hughes. July-August, 2001.

Chomsky on Language. By Aaron Stark. December, 1998.

Literary Knowledge: Noam Chomsky and Marc Angenot. By Robert Barsky. Circa 1993.

Chomsky's Revolution in Linguistics. By John R. Searle. June 29, 1972.

Books
Language and Learning: Debate between Piaget and Chomsky