Language as a natural object - Linguistics as a natural science

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40 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-466
Number of pages20
JournalLinguistic Review
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - Dec 12 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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