4. Rigid Strings and Flaky Snowflakes
Geoffrey Sampson [+]
Sussex University, Professor Emeritus
The title chapter is an extended scrutiny of the “Chomsky phenomenon”. Noam Chomsky is by no means the only or the earliest linguist to promote the concept of linguistics as a science, but he and those who have developed his ideas have provided by far the most powerful intellectual impetus maintaining that mistaken idea – so much so that even linguists who are seen as doughty foes of Chomsky’s linguistics often turn out to have internalized Chomskyan assumptions. Linguists who are unfamiliar with some of the neighbouring disciplines on which Chomskyan linguistics impinges often fail to grasp how very little real substance underlies the superficially impressive panoply of generative theorizing.