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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
- About Us
7 December 1999 7:00 pm
is the 71st birthday of Noam Chomsky, considered by many to be the most influential linguist of the 20th century.
Chomsky revolutionized the field of theoretical linguistics in 1957 with the publication of Syntactic Structures, a book that challenged the prevailing theory that humans learn language through training and experience, much as they learn other habits. Instead, Chomsky proposed that people have an innate ability to understand the rules of grammar, which explains how even young children can create grammatically correct sentences they have never heard before. Chomsky theorized that these rules, known as "grammatical transformations," are somehow hardwired into the brain and are basically the same for every language. The theory remains controversial.
Chomsky, who has spent most of his career as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, is well-known for his left-leaning political views; in the '60 and early '70s, he was a vocal opponent of the United States' involvement in Vietnam.
[Source: Britannica Online]