Why do all human languages resemble each other? And how do children learn language so fast?

For many linguists, the answer is Universal Grammar. It’s one of the biggest ideas in linguistics, but now it might possibly be coming unstuck. What is it, and what does its acceptance or rejection mean for modern linguistics?

Linguist Daniel Midgley has something for everyone on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Show notes

The French Number
http://www.thefrenchnumber.fr

Evidence Rebuts Chomsky’s Theory of Language Learning
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/evidence-rebuts-chomsky-s-theory-of-language-learning/

Don’t believe the rumours. Universal Grammar is alive and well.
https://medium.com/@dan.milway/dont-believe-the-rumours-universal-grammar-is-alive-and-well-58c1fbc5608b#.av7h2vini

The bonfire of Noam Chomsky: journalist Tom Wolfe targets the acclaimed linguist
http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/9/14/12910180/noam-chomsky-tom-wolfe-linguist

Tom Wolfe plays mischief with language in ‘Kingdom of Speech’
http://articles.philly.com/2016-09-11/news/75354678_1_language-evolution-darwin-urdu

Noam Chomsky on the Evolution of Language: A Biolinguistic Perspective
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/37725-noam-chomsky-on-the-evolution-of-language-a-biolinguistic-perspective

Dr. Noam Chomsky’s answers to questions from r/linguistics
https://www.reddit.com/r/linguistics/comments/13buz0/dr_noam_chomskys_answers_to_questions_from/?

Universal Grammar- How Do You Back It?
https://www.reddit.com/r/linguistics/comments/16avcv/universal_grammar_how_do_you_back_it/?

What are the leading anti-UG theories?
https://www.reddit.com/r/linguistics/comments/4es4pb/what_are_the_leading_antiug_theories/

The language faculty that wasn’t: a usage-based account of natural language recursion
http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01182/full

A Cognitive Neural Architecture Able to Learn and Communicate through Natural Language
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0140866

Grammar rules aren’t nearly as clear-cut as we thought
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/01/grammar-rules-aren-t-nearly-clear-cut-we-thought

Child language acquisition: Why universal grammar doesn’t help
http://muse.jhu.edu/article/552064

‘Avengers’ assemble to take on ‘racist, abusive coward’ Donald Trump, urge people to vote
http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/avengers-assemble-take-on-racist-abusive-coward-donald-trump-urge-people-to-vote-20160921-grlnmt.html

‘Butt’ is an actual unit of measurement
http://gizmodo.com/butt-is-an-actual-unit-of-measurement-1622427091

The first fuckwit
https://stronglang.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/the-first-fuckwit/

My table

sweary-units-of-measurement


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

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