Chomsky (1975) on the Unconscious Nature of Language Acquisition

Noam Chomsky

"Knowledge of physics is conscious knowledge; the physicist can expound and articulate it and convey it to others. In contrast, the other two systems [grammar i.e. mental representation, and common sense] are quite unconscious for the most part and beyond the bounds of introspective report. Furthermore, knowledge of physics is qualitatively distinct from the other two cognitive structures in the manner of its acquisition and development. Grammar and common sense are acquired by virtually everyone, effortlessly, rapidly, in a uniform manner, merely by living in a community under minimal conditions of interaction, exposure, and care. [Emphasis Mine] There need be no explicit teaching or training, and when the latter does take place, it has only marginal effects on the final state achieved." -Noam Chomsky, Reflections on Language (1975)

Recent Posts
Search By Tags