Chapter

Poverty of the Stimulus: Willingness to be Puzzled

Noam Chomsky

in Rich Languages From Poor Inputs

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199590339
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745041 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590339.003.0004
Poverty of the Stimulus: Willingness to be Puzzled

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This chapter begins by identifying parallels between the development of Generative Grammar and the rise of the modern scientific revolution. It then claims that the willingness to be puzzled by what seem to be obvious truths is the first step in understanding how the world works. Once we agree to be puzzled by the elementary Poverty of Stimulus problem, and try to offer a principled answer to it, there are many important consequences that follow, and many new problems arise. This is precisely what we should expect in a research program that seeks answers to fundamental questions.

Keywords: generative grammar; scientific revolution; communication; language; Poverty of Stimulus

Chapter.  3024 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics

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