I am trying to find who was the first mentioned that "People learn words, but invent sentences". I read this sentense somewhere. Does anyone has any knowledge about theorist or theory behind this quote?

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    I assume it's just a pithy way of stating the fact that although there are only a finite number of words in each language, there is an infinite number of sentences you can make out of them.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


This looks like a mix of arbitrary meaning of signs from Sausurre with the creativity component of Language we have from Chomsky, if I am correct. You need to learn how to use and the meanings of a specific word, but can use it multiple times in infinite possible contexts.

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