Linguistics and Politics
Program #CHON202. Recorded in Cambridge, MA on November 10, 2009.
Chomsky's linguistic theory has been widely successful in transforming the field and establishing it as a natural science. Chomsky claims that the acquisition of language is an intrinsic part of our biology, and that this facility has acquired near perfect computational efficiency through natural selection. In this talk, Chomsky elaborates on this property of language as a part of the "Universal Grammar", and argues that the future of linguistics lies in studying these internal properties rather than its externalizations, which what the field has primarily focused on until recent history. The unique aspects of human language are similar to the unique aspects of human nature in that they both possess a creative element at their core. In the latter part of this talk, Chomsky discusses a number of social and political issues from wage slavery to media control and surveillance.
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