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The Linguistic Review

Editor-in-Chief: van der Hulst, Harry

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Volume 22, Issue 2-4


Language as a natural object – linguistics as a natural science

Cedric Boeckx / Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini
Published Online: 2005-12-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlir.2005.22.2-4.447


The Chomskyan revolution in linguistics in the 1950s in essence turned linguistics into a branch of cognitive science (and ultimately biology) by both changing the linguistic landscape and forcing a radical change in cognitive science to accommodate linguistics as many of us conceive of it today. More recently Chomsky has advanced the boldest version of his naturalistic approach to language by proposing a Minimalist Program for linguistic theory. In this article, we wish to examine the foundations of the Minimalist Program and its antecedents and draw parallelisms with (meta-)methodological foundations in better-developed sciences such as physics. Once established, such parallelisms, we argue, help direct inquiry in linguistics and cognitive science/biology and unify both disciplines.

About the article

Published Online: 2005-12-06

Published in Print: 2005-12-12

Citation Information: The Linguistic Review, Volume 22, Issue 2-4, Pages 447–466, ISSN (Online) 1613-3676, ISSN (Print) 0167-6318, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlir.2005.22.2-4.447.

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