Language and Problems of Knowledge: The Managua Lectures

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MIT Press, 1988 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 205 pages
3 Reviews

Language and Problems of Knowledge is Noam Chomsky's most accessible statement on thenature, origins, and current concerns of the field of linguistics. He frames the lectures with fourfundamental questions: What do we know when we are able to speak and understand a language? How isthis knowledge acquired? How do we use this knowledge? What are the physical mechanisms involved inthe representation, acquisition, and use of this knowledge?Starting from basic concepts, Chomskysketches the present state of our answers to these questions and offers prospects for futureresearch. Much of the discussion revolves around our understanding of basic human nature (that weare unique in being able to produce a rich, highly articulated, and complex language on the basis ofquite rudimentary data), and it is here that Chomsky's ideas on language relate to his ideas onpolitics.The initial versions of these lectures were given at the Universidad Centroamericana inManagua, Nicaragua, in March 1986. A parallel set of lectures on contemporary political issues givenat the same time has been published by South End Press under the title On Power and Ideology: TheManagua Lectures.Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT. Languageand Problems of Knowledge is sixteenth in the series Current Studies in Linguistics, edited by JayKeyser.


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Review: Language and Problems of Knowledge: The Managua Lectures

User Review  - Josh - Goodreads

This book offered a phenomenal introduction into the idea of generative grammar, Chomsky's theory of language acquisition. If you're really interested in theories of language, it's a must-read. Read full review

Review: Language and Problems of Knowledge: The Managua Lectures

User Review  - Dave - Goodreads

Although Chomsky is a genius and specialized in a smaller branch of science concerning language...and the problems therein, man does he really get into himself. Mostly championing his own theories ... Read full review


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About the author (1988)

Noam Chomsky was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 7, 1928. Son of a Russian emigrant who was a Hebrew scholar, Chomsky was exposed at a young age to the study of language and principles of grammar. During the 1940s, he began developing socialist political leanings through his encounters with the New York Jewish intellectual community. Chomsky received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied linguistics, mathematics, and philosophy. He conducted much of his research at Harvard University. In 1955, he began teaching at MIT, eventually holding the Ferrari P. Ward Chair of Modern Language and Linguistics. Today Chomsky is highly regarded as both one of America's most prominent linguists and most notorious social critics and political activists. His academic reputation began with the publication of Syntactic Structures in 1957. Within a decade, he became known as an outspoken intellectual opponent of the Vietnam War. Chomsky has written many books on the links between language, human creativity, and intelligence, including Language and Mind (1967) and Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use (1985). He also has written dozens of political analyses, including Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), Chronicles of Dissent (1992), and The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many (1993).

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