Why haven't I come across any references to the DF in literature on GG? Given that the main goal of the approach lies in detecting the properties Language exhibit, what role do such long known traits as Double Articulation play in this? Moreover, I have heard Chomsky claimed that investigating other semiotic systems than natural languages gives nothing to the task. Why? May they be implicitly assumed? By far, there must exist some principles which would make it possible to differenciate between the entities operating in the derivation.


I am reasonably sure that Chomsky would not agree with you that "the main goal" is to collect properties of Language. The goal is to understand human language.

Non-human animals have semiotic systems, but Chomsky's position is that the important characteristics of human language are species specific to humans.

  • I think you can even more narrowly say "understand the human faculty to generate and interpret an infinite set of well-formed utterances, and distinguish them from ill-formed utterances". – user6726 Mar 5 '18 at 2:54
  • @user6726, Well, you can. I don't believe we can produce or interpret any of an infinite set of sentences. Not enough time, for one thing. – Greg Lee Mar 5 '18 at 5:09
  • Why doen't collecting these properties help understand? – Aharon M. Vertmont Mar 5 '18 at 8:45
  • Did I say it doesn't "help understand"? There is also something to be said for having a good, hearty breakfast. – Greg Lee Mar 5 '18 at 15:16
  • 3
    I was trying to portray the Chomskian position, since I thought that was being asked about. If you ask me, it is unlikely that we will progress in our understanding of human language without working out how it evolved from antecedent animal communication systems. So I don't really share Chomsky's views about this. – Greg Lee Mar 5 '18 at 20:49

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