Larry Trask

I just happened upon an interview with Larry Trask, an up until now to me unkown linguist who is an expert on all things Basque.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2003/jun/26/scienceinterviews.artsandhumanities

Here is an interesting quote by him about UG:

He rejects the specific, and controversial theories of Chomsky and his followers – that the brain encodes some kind of “universal grammar”, which underlies all the languages that anyone speaks. Trask says any competent linguist can find counter-examples to all the rules Chomskyans propose. “I have no time for Chomskyan theorising and its associated dogmas of ‘universal grammar’. This stuff is so much half-baked twaddle, more akin to a religious movement than to a scholarly enterprise. I am confident that our successors will look back on UG as a huge waste of time. I deeply regret the fact that this sludge attracts so much attention outside linguistics, so much so that many non-linguists believe that Chomskyan theory simply is linguistics, that this is what linguistics has to offer, and that UG is now an established piece of truth, beyond criticism or discussion.The truth is entirely otherwise.”

Ouch…

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