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Durham e-Theses
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Chomsky’s mentalistic account of language

Sengupta, Kanya (1999) Chomsky’s mentalistic account of language. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



In this dissertation I have given a critical analysis of Chomsky's mentalistic account of language. First, I have introduced the fundamental points of Chomsky’s thought. Then I have developed those points in the following way. I have tried to understand Chomsky's account of 'competence' in connection with 'performance’ and 'creativity', showing some shifts and inconsistencies involved here. Further, I have looked more closely and critically into the specific content of his thought about competence or knowledge of language, and the crucial implication that follows from it, viz., emphasis on individual speaker's language, and the privacy that it implies. Finally, I have considered his innateness hypothesis that can support in a way the alleged privacy, and can explain, as well, how linguistic competence is possible. The general direction of our argument is towards the centrality of the social and interpersonal in any account of linguistic knowledge.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1999
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 11:47

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