MillerComm Lecture Series

Language as a Cognitive System

Friday, March 4th, 1988
Noam Chomsky

112 Gregory Hall
810 South Wright Street, Urbana

Event Description

Language is often understood as a social practice, to be explained in terms of dispositions and regularities in behavior. This view has led to some far-reaching conclusions concerning questions of language, meaning, and mind. Rather different conclusions about the same questions arise from an avowedly mentalistic conception of language involving the idea of a computational system of rules and representations that is incorporated in the mind/brain. This view itself has undergone significant modifications in recent years, opening new and promising paths in the study of the nature, use, and acquisition of language, and in the understanding of human knowledge and its growth.

Professor Chomsky, an eminent and revolutionary scholar in the field of linguistics, has in recent years become a figure of national attention through his brilliant criticism of American political life. In his MillerComm lecture, which is intended for a general audience, Chomsky will explore rule systems in language.


In conjunction with: Philosophy Annual Public Lecture; Humanities Public Events Committee; College of Communications; College of Education; Department of Educational Policy Studies; Department of History; Department of Linguistics; Department of Philosophy; Department of Political Science; Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security (ACDIS); Department of Sociology; Department of Speech Communications; Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory; Artificial Intelligence Cognitive Science Committee; Graduate Philosophy Organization; People's Alliance on Central America (PACA); George A. Miller Committee

Noam Chomsky

Department of Linguistics and Philosophy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology