Avram Noam Chomsky[a]
(born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist
, cognitive scientist
,[b][c] social critic
, and political activist
. Sometimes called "the father of modern linguistics",[d]
Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy
and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. He is Laureate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona
and Institute Professor Emeritus
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT), and is the author of more than 150 books on topics such as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media
. Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism
and libertarian socialism
Avram Noam Chomsky was born on December 7, 1928, in the East Oak Lane
neighborhood of Philadelphia
His parents, Ze'ev "William" Chomsky
and Elsie Simonofsky, were Jewish immigrants.
William had fled the Russian Empire
in 1913 to escape conscription and worked in Baltimore sweatshops
and Hebrew elementary schools before attending university.
After moving to Philadelphia, William became principal of the Congregation Mikveh Israel
religious school and joined the Gratz College
faculty. He placed great emphasis on educating people so that they would be "well integrated, free and independent in their thinking, concerned about improving and enhancing the world, and eager to participate in making life more meaningful and worthwhile for all", a mission that shaped and was subsequently adopted by his son.
Elsie was a teacher and activist born in Belarus
. They met at Mikveh Israel, where they both worked.
Noam was the Chomskys' first child. His younger brother, David Eli Chomsky, was born five years later, in 1934.
The brothers were close, though David was more easygoing while Noam could be very competitive.
Chomsky and his brother were raised Jewish, being taught Hebrew
and regularly involved with discussing the political theories of Zionism
; the family was particularly influenced by the Left Zionist
writings of Ahad Ha'am
Chomsky faced antisemitism
as a child, particularly from Philadelphia's Irish and German communities.
Chomsky attended the independent, DeweyiteOak Lane Country Day School
and Philadelphia's Central High School
, where he excelled academically and joined various clubs and societies, but was troubled by the school's hierarchical and regimented teaching methods.
He also attended Hebrew High School at Gratz College, where his father taught.
Carol Schatz, whom Chomsky married in 1949
In 1945, aged 16, Chomsky began a general program of study at the University of Pennsylvania
, where he explored philosophy, logic, and languages and developed a primary interest in learning Arabic
Living at home, he funded his undergraduate degree by teaching Hebrew.
Frustrated with his experiences at the university, he considered dropping out and moving to a kibbutz
in Mandatory Palestine
but his intellectual curiosity was reawakened through conversations with the Russian-born linguist Zellig Harris
, whom he first met in a political circle in 1947. Harris introduced Chomsky to the field of theoretical linguistics and convinced him to major in the subject.
honors thesis, "Morphophonemics of Modern Hebrew", applied Harris's methods to the language.
Chomsky revised this thesis for his MA
, which he received from the University of Pennsylvania in 1951; it was subsequently published as a book.
He also developed his interest in philosophy while at university, in particular under the tutelage of Nelson Goodman
From 1951 to 1955 Chomsky was a member of the Society of Fellows
at Harvard University
, where he undertook research on what became his doctoral dissertation.
Having been encouraged by Goodman to apply,
Chomsky was attracted to Harvard in part because the philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine
was based there. Both Quine and a visiting philosopher, J. L. Austin
of the University of Oxford
, strongly influenced Chomsky.
In 1952 Chomsky published his first academic article, Systems of Syntactic Analysis
, which appeared not in a journal of linguistics but in The Journal of Symbolic Logic
Highly critical of the established behaviorist currents in linguistics, in 1954 he presented his ideas at lectures at the University of Chicago
and Yale University
He had not been registered as a student at Pennsylvania for four years, but in 1955 he submitted a thesis setting out his ideas on transformational grammar
; he was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree for it, and it was privately distributed among specialists on microfilm before being published in 1975 as part of The Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory
Harvard professor George Armitage Miller
was impressed by Chomsky's thesis and collaborated with him on several technical papers in mathematical linguistics
Chomsky's doctorate exempted him from compulsory military service
, which was otherwise due to begin in 1955.
In 1947 Chomsky began a romantic relationship with Carol Doris Schatz
, whom he had known since early childhood. They married in 1949.
After Chomsky was made a Fellow at Harvard, the couple moved to the Allston
area of Boston and remained there until 1965, when they relocated to the suburb of Lexington
In 1953 the couple took a Harvard travel grant to Europe, from the United Kingdom through France, Switzerland into Italy,
and Israel, where they lived in Hashomer Hatzair
's HaZore'a kibbutz
. Despite enjoying himself, Chomsky was appalled by the country's Jewish nationalism, anti-Arab racism
and, within the kibbutz's leftist community, pro-Stalinism
On visits to New York City, Chomsky continued to frequent the office of the Yiddish anarchist journal Fraye Arbeter Shtime
and became enamored with the ideas of Rudolf Rocker
, a contributor whose work introduced Chomsky to the link between anarchism
and classical liberalism
Chomsky also read other political thinkers: the anarchists Mikhail Bakunin
and Diego Abad de Santillán
, democratic socialists George Orwell
, Bertrand Russell
, and Dwight Macdonald
, and works by Marxists Karl Liebknecht
, Karl Korsch
, and Rosa Luxemburg
His readings convinced him of the desirability of an anarcho-syndicalist
society, and he became fascinated by the anarcho-syndicalist communes set up during the Spanish Civil War
, as documented in Orwell's Homage to Catalonia
He read the leftist journal Politics
, which furthered his interest in anarchism,
and the council communist
periodical Living Marxism
, though he rejected the orthodoxy of its editor, Paul Mattick
He was also interested in the Marlenite ideas of the Leninist League of the United States
, an anti-Stalinist Marxist–Leninist group, impressed by its characterization of World War II
as a "phony war" instigated by both by Western capitalists and the Soviet Union.
He "never really believed the thesis, but ... found it intriguing enough to try to figure out what they were talking about."
Chomsky befriended two linguists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT), Morris Halle
and Roman Jakobson
, the latter of whom secured him an assistant professor position there in 1955. At MIT, Chomsky spent half his time on a mechanical translation
project and half teaching a course on linguistics and philosophy.
He described MIT as "a pretty free and open place, open to experimentation and without rigid requirements. It was just perfect for someone of my idiosyncratic interests and work."
In 1957 MIT promoted him to the position of associate professor
, and from 1957 to 1958 he was also employed by Columbia University
as a visiting professor.
The Chomskys had their first child that same year, a daughter named Aviva
He also published his first book on linguistics, Syntactic Structures
, a work that radically opposed the dominant Harris–Bloomfield
trend in the field.
Responses to Chomsky's ideas ranged from indifference to hostility, and his work proved divisive and caused "significant upheaval" in the discipline.
The linguist John Lyons
later asserted that Syntactic Structures
"revolutionized the scientific study of language".
From 1958 to 1959 Chomsky was a National Science Foundation
fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study
in Princeton, New Jersey
The Great Dome
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Chomsky began working in 1955
In 1959, Chomsky published a review of B. F. Skinner
's 1957 book Verbal Behavior
in the academic journal Language
, in which he argued against Skinner's view of language as learned behavior.
The review argued that Skinner ignored the role of human creativity in linguistics and helped to establish Chomsky as an intellectual.
With Halle, Chomsky proceeded to found MIT's graduate program in linguistics. In 1961 he was awarded tenure, becoming a full professor
in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics.
Chomsky went on to be appointed plenary speaker at the Ninth International Congress of Linguists
, held in 1962 in Cambridge, Massachusetts
, which established him as the de facto
spokesperson of American linguistics.
Between 1963 and 1965 he consulted on a military-sponsored project "to establish natural language as an operational language for command and control"; Barbara Partee
, a collaborator on this project and then-student of Chomsky, has said this research was justified to the military on the basis that "in the event of a nuclear war, the generals would be underground with some computers trying to manage things, and that it would probably be easier to teach computers to understand English than to teach the generals to program."
Chomsky continued to publish his linguistic ideas throughout the decade, including in Aspects of the Theory of Syntax
(1965), Topics in the Theory of Generative Grammar
(1966), and Cartesian Linguistics: A Chapter in the History of Rationalist Thought
Along with Halle, he also edited the Studies in Language
series of books for Harper and Row
As he began to accrue significant academic recognition and honors for his work, Chomsky lectured at the University of California, Berkeley
, in 1966.
His Beckman lectures at Berkeley
were assembled and published as Language and Mind
Despite his growing stature, an intellectual falling-out between Chomsky and some of his early colleagues and doctoral students—including Paul Postal
, John "Haj" Ross
, George Lakoff
, and James D. McCawley
—triggered a series of academic debates that came to be known as the "Linguistics Wars
", although they revolved largely around philosophical issues rather than linguistics proper.
Anti-war activism and dissent: 1967–1975
[I]t does not require very far-reaching, specialized knowledge to perceive that the United States was invading South Vietnam. And, in fact, to take apart the system of illusions and deception which functions to prevent understanding of contemporary reality [is] not a task that requires extraordinary skill or understanding. It requires the kind of normal skepticism and willingness to apply one's analytical skills that almost all people have and that they can exercise.
Chomsky on the Vietnam War
Chomsky joined protests against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War
in 1962, speaking on the subject at small gatherings in churches and homes.
His 1967 critique of U.S. involvement, "The Responsibility of Intellectuals
", among other contributions to The New York Review of Books
, debuted Chomsky as a public dissident.
This essay and other political articles were collected and published in 1969 as part of Chomsky's first political book, American Power and the New Mandarins
He followed this with further political books, including At War with Asia
(1971), The Backroom Boys
(1973), For Reasons of State
(1973), and Peace in the Middle East?
(1975), published by Pantheon Books
These publications led to Chomsky's association with the American New Left
though he thought little of prominent New Left intellectuals Herbert Marcuse
and Erich Fromm
and preferred the company of activists to that of intellectuals.
Chomsky remained largely ignored by the mainstream press throughout this period.
He also became involved in left-wing activism. Chomsky refused to pay half his taxes, publicly supported students who refused the draft
, and was arrested while participating an anti-warteach-in
outside the Pentagon.
During this time, Chomsky co-founded the anti-war collective RESIST
with Mitchell Goodman
, Denise Levertov
, William Sloane Coffin
, and Dwight Macdonald
Although he questioned the objectives of the 1968 student protests
, Chomsky gave many lectures to student activist groups and, with his colleague Louis Kampf, ran undergraduate courses on politics at MIT independently of the conservative-dominated political science
When student activists campaigned to stop weapons and counterinsurgency research at MIT, Chomsky was sympathetic but felt that the research should remain under MIT's oversight and limited to systems of deterrence and defense.
In 1970 he visited southeast Asia to lecture at Vietnam's Hanoi University of Science and Technology
and toured war refugee camps in Laos
. In 1973 he helped lead a committee commemorating the 50th anniversary of the War Resisters League
Because of his anti-war activism, Chomsky was arrested on multiple occasions and included on President Richard Nixon's master list of political opponents
Chomsky was aware of the potential repercussions of his civil disobedience and his wife began studying for her own doctorate in linguistics to support the family in the event of Chomsky's imprisonment or joblessness.
Chomsky's scientific reputation insulated him from administrative action based on his beliefs.
Edward S. Herman and the Faurisson affair: 1976–1980
Chomsky, photographed in 1977
In the late 1970s and 1980s, Chomsky's linguistic publications expanded and clarified his earlier work, addressing his critics and updating his grammatical theory.
His political talks often generated considerable controversy, particularly when he criticized the Israeli government and military.
In the early 1970s Chomsky began collaborating with Edward S. Herman
, who had also published critiques of the U.S. war in Vietnam.
Together they wrote Counter-Revolutionary Violence: Bloodbaths in Fact & Propaganda
, a book that criticized U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia and the mainstream media's failure to cover it. Warner Modular published it in 1973, but its parent company
disapproved of the book's contents and ordered all copies destroyed.
While mainstream publishing options proved elusive, Chomsky found support from Michael Albert
's South End Press
, an activist-oriented publishing company.
In 1979, South End published Chomsky and Herman's revised Counter-Revolutionary Violence
as the two-volume The Political Economy of Human Rights
which compares U.S. media reactions to the Cambodian genocide
and the Indonesian occupation of East Timor
. It argues that because Indonesia was a U.S. ally, U.S. media ignored the East Timorese situation while focusing on events in Cambodia, a U.S. enemy.
Chomsky's response included two testimonials before the United Nations' Special Committee on Decolonization
, successful encouragement for American media to cover the occupation, and meetings with refugees in Lisbon
The Marxist academic Steven Lukes
publicly accused Chomsky of betraying his anarchist ideals and acting as an apologist for Cambodian leader Pol Pot
Herman said that the controversy "imposed a serious personal cost" on Chomsky,
Chomsky said that "conformist intellectuals of East or West" deal with dissident opinion by trying "to overwhelm it with a flood of lies".
He regarded the personal criticism as less important than the evidence that "mainstream intelligentsia suppressed or justified the crimes of their own states".
Chomsky had long publicly criticized Nazism
, and totalitarianism
more generally, but his commitment to freedom of speech led him to defend the right of French historian Robert Faurisson
to advocate a position widely characterized as Holocaust denial
. Without Chomsky's knowledge, his plea for Faurisson's freedom of speech was published as the preface to the latter's 1980 book Mémoire en défense contre ceux qui m'accusent de falsifier l'histoire
Chomsky was widely condemned for defending Faurisson,
and France's mainstream press accused Chomsky of being a Holocaust denier himself, refusing to publish his rebuttals to their accusations.
Critiquing Chomsky's position, sociologist Werner Cohn
later published an analysis of the affair titled Partners in Hate: Noam Chomsky and the Holocaust Deniers
The Faurisson affair had a lasting, damaging effect on Chomsky's career,
especially in France.
Critique of propaganda and international affairs: 1980–2001
Chomsky and Herman's Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media
(1988) outlines their propaganda model
for understanding mainstream media. Even in countries without official censorship, they argued, the news is censored through five filters that greatly influence both what and how news is presented.
The book was inspired by Alex Carey
and adapted into a 1992 film
In 1989, Chomsky published Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies,
in which he suggests that a worthwhile democracy requires that its citizens undertake intellectual self-defense against the media and elite intellectual culture that seeks to control them.
By the 1980s, Chomsky's students had become prominent linguists who, in turn, expanded and revised his linguistic theories.
In the 1990s, Chomsky embraced political activism to a greater degree than before.
Retaining his commitment to the cause of East Timorese independence, in 1995 he visited Australia to talk on the issue at the behest of the East Timorese Relief Association and the National Council for East Timorese Resistance.
The lectures he gave on the subject were published as Powers and Prospects
As a result of the international publicity Chomsky generated, his biographer Wolfgang Sperlich opined that he did more to aid the cause of East Timorese independence than anyone but the investigative journalist John Pilger
After East Timor attained independence from Indonesia in 1999, the Australian-led International Force for East Timor
arrived as a peacekeeping force; Chomsky was critical of this, believing it was designed to secure Australian access to East Timor's oil and gas reserves under the Timor Gap Treaty
Iraq war criticism and retirement from MIT: 2001–2017
Chomsky speaking in support of the Occupy movement in 2011
After the September 11 attacks
in 2001, Chomsky was widely interviewed; Seven Stories Press
collated and published these interviews that October.
Chomsky argued that the ensuing War on Terror
was not a new development but a continuation of U.S. foreign policy and concomitant rhetoric since at least the Reagan era.
He gave the D.T. Lakdawala
Memorial Lecture in New Delhi in 2001,
and in 2003 visited Cuba at the invitation of the Latin American Association of Social Scientists.
Chomsky's 2003 Hegemony or Survival
articulated what he called the United States' "imperial grand strategy
" and critiqued the Iraq War
and other aspects of the War on Terror.
Chomsky toured internationally with greater regularity during this period.
Chomsky retired from MIT in 2002,
but continued to conduct research and seminars on campus as an emeritus
That same year he visited Turkey to attend the trial of a publisher who had been accused of treason for printing one of Chomsky's books; Chomsky insisted on being a co-defendant
and amid international media attention the Security Courts dropped the charge on the first day.
During that trip Chomsky visited Kurdish areas of Turkey and spoke out in favor of the Kurds' human rights.
A supporter of the World Social Forum
, he attended its conferences in Brazil in both 2002 and 2003, also attending the Forum event in India.
University of Arizona: 2017–present
In 2017, Chomsky taught a short-term politics course at the University of Arizona
and was later hired as a part-time professor in the linguistics department there, with his duties including teaching and public seminars.
His salary is covered by philanthropic donations.
What started as purely linguistic research ... has led, through involvement in political causes and an identification with an older philosophic tradition, to no less than an attempt to formulate an overall theory of man. The roots of this are manifest in the linguistic theory ... The discovery of cognitive structures common to the human race but only to humans (species specific), leads quite easily to thinking of unalienable human attributes.
The basis of Chomsky's linguistic theory lies in biolinguistics
, the linguistic school that holds that the principles underpinning the structure of language are biologically preset in the human mind and hence genetically inherited.
As such he argues that all humans share the same underlying linguistic structure, irrespective of sociocultural differences.
In adopting this position Chomsky rejects the radical behaviorist
psychology of B. F. Skinner
, who viewed behavior (including talking and thinking) as a completely learned product of the interactions between organisms and their environments. Accordingly, Chomsky argues that language is a unique evolutionary development of the human species and distinguished from modes of communication used by any other animal species.
, internalist view of language is consistent with the philosophical school of "rationalism
" and contrasts with the anti-nativist, externalist view of language consistent with the philosophical school of "empiricism
which contends that all knowledge, including language, comes from external stimuli.
Since the 1960s Chomsky has maintained that syntactic knowledge is at least partially inborn, implying that children need only learn certain language-specific features of their native languages
. He bases his argument on observations about human language acquisition
and describes a "poverty of the stimulus
": an enormous gap between the linguistic stimuli to which children are exposed and the rich linguistic competence
they attain. For example, although children are exposed to only a very small and finite subset of the allowable syntactic variants
within their first language, they somehow acquire the highly organized and systematic ability to understand and produce an infinite number of sentences
, including ones that have never before been uttered, in that language.
To explain this, Chomsky reasoned that the primary linguistic data must be supplemented by an innate linguistic capacity
. Furthermore, while a human baby and a kitten are both capable of inductive reasoning
, if they are exposed to exactly the same linguistic data, the human will always acquire the ability to understand and produce language, while the kitten will never acquire either ability. Chomsky referred to this difference in capacity as the language acquisition device
, and suggested that linguists needed to determine both what that device is and what constraints it imposes on the range of possible human languages. The universal features that result from these constraints would constitute "universal grammar".
Multiple scholars have challenged universal grammar on the grounds of the evolutionary infeasibility of its genetic basis for language,
the lack of universal characteristics between languages,
and the unproven link between innate/universal structures and the structures of specific languages.
Scholar Michael Tomasello
has challenged Chomsky's theory of innate syntactic knowledge as based on theory and not behavioral observation.
Although it was influential from 1960s through 1990s, Chomsky's nativist theory was ultimately rejected by the mainstream child language acquisition
research community owing to its inconsistency with research evidence.
It was also argued by linguists including Robert Freidin, Geoffrey Sampson
, Geoffrey K. Pullum
and Barbara Scholz
that Chomsky's linguistic evidence for it had been false.
is a broad theory used to model, encode, and deduce a native speaker's linguistic capabilities.
These models, or "formal grammars
", show the abstract structures of a specific language as they may relate to structures in other languages.
Chomsky developed transformational grammar in the mid-1950s, whereupon it became the dominant syntactic theory in linguistics for two decades.
"Transformations" refers to syntactic relationships within language, e.g., being able to infer that the subject between two sentences is the same person.
Chomsky's theory posits that language consists of both deep structures and surface structures: Outward-facing surface structures relate phonetic rules into sound, while inward-facing deep structures relate words and conceptual meaning. Transformational-generative grammar uses mathematical notation
to express the rules that govern the connection between meaning and sound (deep and surface structures, respectively). By this theory, linguistic principles can mathematically generate
potential sentence structures in a language.
It is a common conception that Chomsky invented transformational-generative grammar, but his actual contribution to it was considered modest at the time when Chomsky first published his theory. In his 1955 dissertation and his 1957 textbook Syntactic Structures
, he presented recent developments in the analysis formulated by Zellig Harris, who was Chomsky's PhD supervisor, and by Charles F. Hockett
Their method is derived from the work of the Danish structural linguist Louis Hjelmslev
, who introduced algorithmic grammar
to general linguistics.[f]
Based on this rule-based notation of grammars, Chomsky grouped logically possible phrase-structure grammar types into a series of four nested subsets and increasingly complex types, together known as the Chomsky hierarchy
. This classification remains relevant to formal language theory
and theoretical computer science
, especially programming language theory
construction, and automata theory
Following transformational grammar's heyday through the mid-1970s, a derivativegovernment and binding theory
became a dominant research framework through the early 1990s, remaining an influential theory,
when linguists turned to a "minimalist" approach to grammar. This research focused on the principles and parameters
framework, which explained children's ability to learn any language by filling open parameters (a set of universal grammar principles) that adapt as the child encounters linguistic data.
The minimalist program, initiated by Chomsky,
asks which minimal principles and parameters theory fits most elegantly, naturally, and simply.
In an attempt to simplify language into a system that relates meaning and sound using the minimum possible faculties, Chomsky dispenses with concepts such as "deep structure" and "surface structure" and instead emphasizes the plasticity of the brain's neural circuits, with which come an infinite number of concepts, or "logical forms
When exposed to linguistic data, a hearer-speaker's brain proceeds to associate sound and meaning, and the rules of grammar we observe are in fact only the consequences, or side effects, of the way language works. Thus, while much of Chomsky's prior research focused on the rules of language, he now focuses on the mechanisms the brain uses to generate these rules and regulate speech.
The second major area to which Chomsky has contributed—and surely the best known in terms of the number of people in his audience and the ease of understanding what he writes and says—is his work on sociopolitical analysis; political, social, and economic history; and critical assessment of current political circumstance. In Chomsky's view, although those in power might—and do—try to obscure their intentions and to defend their actions in ways that make them acceptable to citizens, it is easy for anyone who is willing to be critical and consider the facts to discern what they are up to.
Chomsky is a prominent political dissident.[g]
His political views have changed little since his childhood,
when he was influenced by the emphasis on political activism that was ingrained in Jewish working-class tradition.
He usually identifies as an anarcho-syndicalist
or a libertarian socialist
He views these positions not as precise political theories but as ideals that he thinks best meet human needs: liberty, community, and freedom of association.
Unlike some other socialists, such as Marxists, Chomsky believes that politics lies outside the remit of science,
but he still roots his ideas about an ideal society in empirical data and empirically justified theories.
In Chomsky's view, the truth about political realities is systematically distorted or suppressed by an elite corporatocracy
, which uses corporate media, advertising, and think tanks
to promote its own propaganda. His work seeks to reveal such manipulations and the truth they obscure.
Chomsky believes this web of falsehood can be broken by "common sense", critical thinking, and understanding the roles of self-interest and self-deception,
and that intellectuals abdicate their moral responsibility to tell the truth about the world in fear of losing prestige and funding.
He argues that, as such an intellectual, it is his duty to use his social privilege
, resources, and training to aid popular democracy movements in their struggles.
Although he has joined protest marches and organized activist groups, Chomsky's primary political outlets are education and publication. He offers a wide range of political writings
as well as free lessons and lectures to encourage wider political consciousness.
He is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World
United States foreign policy
Chomsky has been a prominent critic of American imperialism
he believes that the basic principle of the foreign policy of the United States
is the establishment of "open societies" that are economically and politically controlled by the United States and where U.S.-based businesses can prosper.
He argues that the U.S. seeks to suppress any movements within these countries that are not compliant with U.S. interests and to ensure that U.S.-friendly governments are placed in power.
When discussing current events, he emphasizes their place within a wider historical perspective.
He believes that official, sanctioned historical accounts of U.S. and British extraterritorial operations have consistently whitewashed these nations' actions in order to present them as having benevolent motives in either spreading democracy or, in older instances, spreading Christianity; criticizing these accounts, he seeks to correct them.
Prominent examples he regularly cites are the actions of the British Empire in India and Africa and the actions of the U.S. in Vietnam, the Philippines, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Chomsky's political work has centered heavily on criticizing the actions of the United States.
He has said he focuses on the U.S. because the country has militarily and economically dominated the world during his lifetime and because its liberal democratic
electoral system allows the citizenry to influence government policy.
His hope is that, by spreading awareness of the impact U.S. foreign policies have on the populations affected by them, he can sway the populations of the U.S. and other countries into opposing the policies.
He urges people to criticize their governments' motivations, decisions, and actions, to accept responsibility for their own thoughts and actions, and to apply the same standards to others as to themselves.
Chomsky has been critical of U.S. involvement in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
, arguing that it has consistently blocked a peaceful settlement.
Chomsky also criticizes the U.S.'s close ties with Saudi Arabia and involvement in Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
, highlighting that Saudi Arabia has "one of the most grotesque human rights records in the world".
Capitalism and socialism
In his youth, Chomsky developed a dislike of capitalism
and the pursuit of material wealth.
At the same time, he developed a disdain for authoritarian socialism
, as represented by the Marxist–Leninist policies of the Soviet Union.
Rather than accepting the common view among U.S. economists that a spectrum exists between total state ownership of the economy and total private ownership, he instead suggests that a spectrum should be understood between total democratic control of the economy and total autocratic control (whether state or private).
He argues that Western capitalist countries are not really democratic,
because, in his view, a truly democratic society is one in which all persons have a say in public economic policy.
He has stated his opposition to ruling elites
, among them institutions like the IMF
, World Bank
, and GATT
(precursor to the WTO
Noting the entrenchment of such an economic system, Chomsky believes that change is possible through the organized cooperation of large numbers of people who understand the problem and know how they want to reorganize the economy more equitably.
Acknowledging that corporate domination of media and government stifles any significant change to this system, he sees reason for optimism in historical examples such as the social rejection of slavery as immoral, the advances in women's rights, and the forcing of government to justify invasions.
He views violent revolution to overthrow a government as a last resort to be avoided if possible, citing the example of historical revolutions where the population's welfare has worsened as a result of upheaval.
Chomsky sees libertarian socialist and anarcho-syndicalist ideas as the descendants of the classical liberal
ideas of the Age of Enlightenment
arguing that his ideological position revolves around "nourishing the libertarian and creative character of the human being".
He envisions an anarcho-syndicalist future with direct worker control of the means of production
and government by workers' councils
, who would select temporary and revocable representatives to meet together at general assemblies.
The point of this self-governance is to make each citizen, in Thomas Jefferson
's words, "a direct participator in the government of affairs."
He believes that there will be no need for political parties.
By controlling their productive life, he believes that individuals can gain job satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment and purpose.
He argues that unpleasant and unpopular jobs could be fully automated, carried out by workers who are specially remunerated, or shared among everyone.
Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and slums to attack a [Palestinian] population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army… and calls it a war. It is not a war, it is murder.
Chomsky criticizing Israel, 2012
Chomsky has written prolifically on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, aiming to raise public awareness of it.
He has long endorsed a left binationalist program in Israel and Palestine, seeking to create a democratic state in the Levant
that is home to both Jews and Arabs.
Nevertheless, given the realpolitik
of the situation, he has also considered a two-state solution
on the condition that the nation-states exist on equal terms.
Chomsky was denied entry to the West Bank
in 2010 because of his criticisms of Israel
. He had been invited to deliver a lecture at Bir Zeit University
and was to meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
An Israeli Foreign Ministry
spokesman later said that Chomsky was denied entry by mistake.
News media and propaganda
Chomsky's political writings have largely focused on ideology, social and political power
, the media, and state policy.
One of his best-known works, Manufacturing Consent
, dissects the media's role in reinforcing and acquiescing to state policies across the political spectrum while marginalizing contrary perspectives. Chomsky asserts that this version of censorship, by government-guided "free market" forces, is subtler and harder to undermine than was the equivalent propaganda system in the Soviet Union.
As he argues, the mainstream press is corporate-owned and thus reflects corporate priorities and interests.
Acknowledging that many American journalists are dedicated and well-meaning, he argues that the mass media's choices of topics and issues, the unquestioned premises on which that coverage rests, and the range of opinions expressed are all constrained to reinforce the state's ideology:
although mass media will criticize individual politicians and political parties, it will not undermine the wider state-corporate nexus of which it is a part.
As evidence, he highlights that the U.S. mass media does not employ any socialist journalists or political commentators.
He also points to examples of important news stories that the U.S. mainstream media has ignored because reporting on them would reflect badly upon the country, including the murder of Black PantherFred Hampton
with possible FBI
involvement, the massacres in Nicaragua perpetrated by U.S.-funded Contras
, and the constant reporting on Israeli deaths without equivalent coverage of the far larger number of Palestinian deaths in that conflict.
To remedy this situation, Chomsky calls for grassroots democratic control and involvement of the media.
Chomsky considers most conspiracy theories
fruitless, distracting substitutes for thinking about policy formation in an institutional framework, where individual manipulation is secondary to broader social imperatives.
While not dismissing them outright, he considers them unproductive to challenging power in a substantial way. In response to the labeling of his own ideas as a conspiracy theory, Chomsky has said that it is very rational for the media to manipulate information in order to sell it, like any other business. He asks whether General Motors
would be accused of conspiracy if it deliberately selected what it used or discarded to sell its product.
Chomsky has also been active in a number of philosophical fields, including philosophy of mind
, philosophy of language
, and philosophy of science
In these fields he is credited with ushering in the "cognitive revolution
a significant paradigm shift
that rejected logical positivism
, the prevailing philosophical methodology of the time, and reframed how philosophers think about language
and the mind
Chomsky views the cognitive revolution as rooted in 17th-century rationalist
His position—the idea that the mind contains inherent structures to understand language, perception, and thought—has more in common with rationalism (Enlightenment and Cartesian) than behaviorism.
He named one of his key works Cartesian Linguistics: A Chapter in the History of Rationalist Thought
This sparked criticism from historians and philosophers who disagreed with Chomsky's interpretations of classical sources and use of philosophical terminology.[h]
In the philosophy of language, Chomsky is particularly known for his criticisms of the notion of reference and meaning in human language and his perspective on the nature and function of mental representations.
Chomsky's famous 1971 debate
on human nature
with the French philosopher Michel Foucault
was symbolic in positioning Chomsky as the prototypical analytic philosopher
against Foucault, a stalwart of the continental
It showed what appeared to be irreconcilable differences between two moral and intellectual luminaries of the 20th century. Foucault's position was that of critique, that human nature could not be conceived in terms foreign to present understanding, while Chomsky held that human nature contained universalities such as a common standard of moral justice as deduced through reason based on what rationally serves human necessity.
Chomsky criticized postmodernism
and French philosophy
generally, arguing that the obscure language of postmodern, leftist philosophers gives little aid to the working classes.
He has also debated analytic philosophers, including Tyler Burge
, Donald Davidson
, Michael Dummett
, Saul Kripke
, Thomas Nagel
, Hilary Putnam
, Willard Van Orman Quine
, and John Searle
Chomsky's contributions span intellectual
and world history, including the history of philosophy.
Irony is a recurring characteristic of his writing, as he often implies that his readers know better, which can make them more engaged in the veracity of his claims.
Chomsky endeavors to separate his family life, linguistic scholarship, and political activism from each other.
An intensely private person,
he is uninterested in appearances and the fame his work has brought him.
He also has little interest in modern art and music.
McGilvray suggests that Chomsky was never motivated by a desire for fame, but impelled to tell what he perceived as the truth and a desire to aid others in doing so.
Chomsky acknowledges that his income affords him a privileged life compared to the majority of the world's population;
nevertheless, he characterizes himself as a "worker", albeit one who uses his intellect as his employable skill.
He reads four or five newspapers daily; in the US, he subscribes to The Boston Globe
, The New York Times
, The Wall Street Journal
, Financial Times
, and The Christian Science Monitor
Chomsky is non-religious
, but has expressed approval of forms of religion such as liberation theology
Chomsky has attracted controversy for calling established political and academic figures "corrupt", "fascist", and "fraudulent".
His colleague Steven Pinker
has said that he "portrays people who disagree with him as stupid or evil, using withering scorn in his rhetoric", and that this contributes to the extreme reactions he receives from critics.
Chomsky avoids attending academic conferences
, including left-oriented ones such as the Socialist Scholars Conference, preferring to speak to activist groups or hold university seminars for mass audiences.
His approach to academic freedom has led him to support MIT academics whose actions he deplores; in 1969, when Chomsky heard that Walt Rostow
, a major architect of the Vietnam war, wanted to return to work at MIT, Chomsky threatened "to protest publicly" if Rostow were denied a position at MIT. In 1989, when Pentagon adviser John Deutch
applied to be president of MIT, Chomsky supported his candidacy. Later, when Deutch became head of the CIA, The New York Times
quoted Chomsky as saying, "He has more honesty and integrity than anyone I've ever met. ... If somebody's got to be running the CIA, I'm glad it's him."
Chomsky was married to Carol
Carol Doris Schatz) from 1949 until her death in 2008.
They had three children together: Aviva
(b. 1957), Diane (b. 1960), and Harry (b. 1967).
In 2014, Chomsky married Valeria Wasserman.
Reception and influence
[Chomsky's] voice is heard in academia beyond linguistics and philosophy: from computer science to neuroscience, from anthropology to education, mathematics and literary criticism. If we include Chomsky's political activism then the boundaries become quite blurred, and it comes as no surprise that Chomsky is increasingly seen as enemy number one by those who inhabit that wide sphere of reactionary discourse and action.
Chomsky has been a defining Western intellectual figure, central to the field of linguistics and definitive in cognitive science, computer science, philosophy, and psychology.
In addition to being known as one of the most important intellectuals of his time,[i]
Chomsky carries a dual legacy as both a "leader in the field" of linguistics and "a figure of enlightenment and inspiration" for political dissenters
Despite his academic success, his political viewpoints and activism have resulted in his being distrusted by the mainstream media apparatus, and he is regarded as being "on the outer margin of acceptability".
The reception of his work is intertwined with his public image as an anarchist, a gadfly
, a historian, a Jew, a linguist, and a philosopher.
McGilvray observes that Chomsky inaugurated the "cognitive revolution
" in linguistics,
and that he is largely responsible for establishing the field as a formal, natural science
moving it away from the procedural form of structural linguistics
dominant during the mid-20th century.
As such, some have called Chomsky "the father of modern linguistics".[d]
Linguist John Lyons further remarked that within a few decades of publication, Chomskyan linguistics had become "the most dynamic and influential" school of thought in the field.
By the 1970s his work had also come to exert a considerable influence on philosophy,
and a Minnesota State University Moorhead
poll ranked Syntactic Structures
as the single most important work in cognitive science
In addition, his work in automata theory
and the Chomsky hierarchy have become well known in computer science
, and he is much cited in computational linguistics
Chomsky's criticisms of behaviorism contributed substantially to the decline of behaviorist psychology
in addition, he is generally regarded as one of the primary founders of the field of cognitive science.
Some arguments in evolutionary psychology
are derived from his research results; Nim Chimpsky
, a chimpanzee who was the subject of a study in animal language acquisition
at Columbia University, was named after Chomsky in reference to his view of language acquisition as a uniquely human ability.
An MIT press release stated that Chomsky was cited within the Arts and Humanities Citation Index
more often than any other living scholar from 1980 to 1992.
Chomsky was also extensively cited in the Social Sciences Citation Index
and Science Citation Index
during the same time period, with the librarian who conducted the research commenting that the statistics show that "he is very widely read across disciplines and that his work is used by researchers across disciplines ... it seems that you can't write a paper without citing Noam Chomsky."
As a result of his influence, there are dueling camps of Chomskyan and non-Chomskyan linguistics, with the disputes between the two camps often acrimonious.
Chomsky's status as the "most-quoted living author" is credited to his political writings, which vastly outnumber his writings on linguistics.
Chomsky biographer Wolfgang B. Sperlich characterizes him as "one of the most notable contemporary champions of the people";
journalist John Pilger
has described him as a "genuine people's hero; an inspiration for struggles all over the world for that basic decency known as freedom. To a lot of people in the margins—activists and movements—he's unfailingly supportive." Arundhati Roy
has called him "one of the greatest, most radical public thinkers of our time",
and Edward Said
thought him "one of the most significant challengers of unjust power and delusions".Fred Halliday
has said that by the start of the 21st century Chomsky had become a "guru" for the world's anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movements.
The propaganda model of media criticism that he and Herman developed has been widely accepted in radical media critiques and adopted to some level in mainstream criticism of the media,
also exerting a significant influence on the growth of alternative media
, including radio, publishers, and the Internet, which in turn have helped to disseminate his work.
Sperlich also notes that Chomsky has been vilified by corporate interests, particularly in the mainstream press.
University departments devoted to history and political science rarely include Chomsky's work on their undergraduate syllabi.
Critics have argued that despite publishing widely on social and political issues, Chomsky has no formal expertise in these areas; he has responded that such issues are not as complex as many social scientists
claim and that almost everyone is able to comprehend them regardless of whether they have been academically trained to do so.
According to McGilvray, many of Chomsky's critics "do not bother quoting his work or quote out of context, distort, and create straw men that cannot be supported by Chomsky's text".
Chomsky drew criticism for not calling the Srebrenica massacre
during the Bosnian War
a "genocide", which he said would devalue the word,
and in appearing to deny Ed Vulliamy
's reporting on the existence of Bosnian concentration camps. The subsequent editorial correction of his comments, viewed as a capitulation, was criticized by multiple Balkan watchers.
Chomsky's far-reaching criticisms of U.S. foreign policy and the legitimacy of U.S. power have raised controversy. A document obtained pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) request from the U.S. government revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA) monitored his activities and for years denied doing so. The CIA also destroyed its files on Chomsky at some point, possibly in violation of federal law.
He has often received undercover police protection at MIT and when speaking on the Middle East, but has refused uniformed police protection.
German news magazine Der Spiegel
described Chomsky as "the Ayatollah of anti-American hatred",
while American conservative
commentator David Horowitz
called him "the most devious, the most dishonest and ... the most treacherous intellect in America", whose work is infused with "anti-American dementia" and evidences his "pathological hatred of his own country".
Writing in Commentary
magazine, the journalist Jonathan Kay
described Chomsky as "a hard-boiled anti-American monomaniac who simply refuses to believe anything that any American leader says".
Chomsky's criticism of Israel has led to his being called a traitor to the Jewish people and an anti-Semite
Criticizing Chomsky's defense of the right of individuals to engage in Holocaust denial on the grounds that freedom of speech must be extended to all viewpoints, Werner Cohn
called Chomsky "the most important patron" of the neo-Nazi
The Anti-Defamation League
(ADL) called him a Holocaust denier,
describing him as a "dupe of intellectual pride so overweening that he is incapable of making distinctions between totalitarian and democratic societies, between oppressors and victims".
In turn, Chomsky has claimed that the ADL is dominated by "Stalinist types" who oppose democracy in Israel.
The lawyer Alan Dershowitz
has called Chomsky a "false prophet of the left";
Chomsky called Dershowitz "a complete liar" who is on "a crazed jihad, dedicating much of his life to trying to destroy my reputation".
In early 2016, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
of Turkey publicly rebuked Chomsky after he signed an open letter
condemning Erdoğan for his anti-Kurdish repression
and double standards on terrorism.
Chomsky accused Erdoğan of hypocrisy, noting that Erdoğan supports al-Qaeda
's Syrian affiliate,
the al-Nusra Front
Academic achievements, awards, and honors
In the United States he is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences
, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
, the Linguistic Society of America
, the American Philosophical Association
, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Abroad he is a corresponding fellow of the British Academy
, an honorary member of the British Psychological Society
, a member of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina
and a foreign member of the Department of Social Sciences of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
He received a 1971 Guggenheim Fellowship
, the 1984 American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology
, the 1988 Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences
, the 1996 Helmholtz Medal
the 1999 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science
the 2010 Erich Fromm Prize
and the British Academy
's 2014 Neil and Saras Smith Medal for Linguistics
He is also a two-time winner of the NCTE George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language
(1987 and 1989).
He has also received the Rabindranath Tagore Centenary Award from The Asiatic Society
- ^ English: /
ˈtʃɒmski/ (listen) NOHM CHOM-skee
Hebrew: ['noʔam 'χomski]
- ^ "In thinking about the Effect of Chomsky's work, we have had to dwell upon the reception of Chomsky's work and the perception of Chomsky as a Jew, a linguist, a philosopher, a historian, a gadfly, an icon, and an anarchist." (Barsky 2007:107)
- ^ "Since his Cartesian linguistics (1966) it has been clear that Chomsky is a superb intellectual historian—a historian of philosophy in the case of his 1966 book, his earliest incursion into the field; later writings (e.g., Year 501) extended the coverage to world history. The lectures just mentioned and other writings take on highly significant and sometimes not properly appreciated, and often misunderstood, developments in the history of science." (Otero 2003:416)
- ^ a b
- Fox 1998: "Mr. Chomsky ... is the father of modern linguistics and remains the field's most influential practitioner."
- Tymoczko & Henle 2004, p. 101: "As the founder of modern linguistics, Noam Chomsky, observed, each of the following sequences of words is nonsense ..."
- Tanenhaus 2016: "At 87, Noam Chomsky, the founder of modern linguistics, remains a vital presence in American intellectual life."
- Smith 2004, pp. 107 "Chomsky's early work was renowned for its mathematical rigor and he made some contribution to the nascent discipline of mathematical linguistics, in particular the analysis of (formal) languages in terms of what is now known as the Chomsky hierarchy."
- Koerner 1983, pp. 159: "Characteristically, Harris proposes a transfer of sentences from English to Modern Hebrew [...] Chomsky's approach to syntax in Syntactic Structures and several years thereafter was not much different from Harris's approach, since the concept of 'deep' or 'underlying structure' had not yet been introduced. The main difference between Harris (1954) and Chomsky (1957) appears to be that the latter is dealing with transfers within one single language only"
- Koerner 1978, pp. 41f: "it is worth noting that Chomsky cites Hjelmslev's Prolegomena, which had been translated into English in 1953, since the authors' theoretical argument, derived largely from logic and mathematics, exhibits noticeable similarities."
- Seuren 1998, pp. 166: "Both Hjelmslev and Harris were inspired by the mathematical notion of an algorithm as a purely formal production system for a set of strings of symbols. [...] it is probably accurate to say that Hjelmslev was the first to try and apply it to the generation of strings of symbols in natural language"
- Hjelmslev 1969 Prolegomena to a Theory of Language. Danish original 1943; first English translation 1954.
- Macintyre 2010
- Burris 2013: "Noam Chomsky has built his entire reputation as a political dissident on his command of the facts."
- McNeill 2014: "[Chomsky is] often dubbed one of the world's most important intellectuals and its leading public dissident..."
Hamans & Seuren 2010
, p. 377: "Having achieved a unique position of supremacy in the theory of syntax and having exploited that position far beyond the narrow circles of professional syntacticians, he felt the need to shore up his theory with the authority of history. It is shown that this attempt, resulting mainly in his Cartesian Linguistics of 1966, was widely, and rightly, judged to be a radical failure"
- McNeill 2014: "[Chomsky is] often dubbed one of the world's most important intellectuals ..."
- Campbell 2005: "Noam Chomsky, the linguistics professor who has become one of the most outspoken critics of US foreign policy, has won a poll that names him as the world's top public intellectual."
- Robinson 1979: "Judged in terms of the power, range, novelty and influence of his thought, Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual alive today."
- Flint 1995: "The man once called the most important intellectual alive keeps his office in ... the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."
- ^ Sperlich 2006, pp. 44–45.
- ^ a b Barsky 1997, pp. 9–10; Sperlich 2006, p. 11.
- ^ a b Barsky 1997, pp. 11–13; Sperlich 2006, p. 11.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 11–13.
- ^ Lyons 1978, p. xv; Barsky 1997, pp. 15–17; Sperlich 2006, p. 12; McGilvray 2014, p. 3.
- ^ Lyons 1978, p. xv; Barsky 1997, pp. 21–22; Sperlich 2006, p. 14; McGilvray 2014, p. 4.
- ^ a b Lyons 1978, p. xv; Barsky 1997, pp. 15–17.
- ^ Barsky 1997, p. 14; Sperlich 2006, pp. 11, 14–15.
- ^ Barsky 1997, p. 23; Sperlich 2006, pp. 12, 14–15, 67; McGilvray 2014, p. 4.
- ^ Lyons 1978, p. xv; Barsky 1997, pp. 15–17; Sperlich 2006, p. 13; McGilvray 2014, p. 3.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 17–19.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 17–19; Sperlich 2006, pp. 16, 18.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 48–51; Sperlich 2006, pp. 18–19, 31.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 51–52; Sperlich 2006, p. 32.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 51–52; Sperlich 2006, p. 33.
- ^ Sperlich 2006, pp. 33–34.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 83–85; Sperlich 2006, p. 36; McGilvray 2014, pp. 4–5.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 13, 48, 51–52; Sperlich 2006, pp. 18–19.
- ^ Sperlich 2006, pp. 20–21.
- ^ Barsky 1997, p. 82; Sperlich 2006, pp. 20–21.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 24–25.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 34–35.
- ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 29, 2009. Retrieved April 11, 2010.
- ^ "Personal influences, by Noam Chomsky (Excerpted from The Chomsky Reader)". Chomsky.info. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
- ^ Lyons 1978, p. xv; Barsky 1997, pp. 86–87; Sperlich 2006, pp. 38–40.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 88–91; Sperlich 2006, p. 40; McGilvray 2014, p. 5.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 88–91.
- ^ Lyons 1978, p. 6; Barsky 1997, pp. 96–99; Sperlich 2006, p. 41; McGilvray 2014, p. 5.
- ^ MacCorquodale 1970, pp. 83–99.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 101–102, 119; Sperlich 2006, p. 23.
- ^ Sperlich 2006, pp. 60–61.
- ^ Lyons 1978, pp. xvi–xvii; Barsky 1997, p. 163; Sperlich 2006, p. 87.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 134–135.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 162–163.
- ^ Lyons 1978, p. 5; Barsky 1997, pp. 127–129.
- ^ Lyons 1978, p. 5; Barsky 1997, pp. 127–129; Sperlich 2006, pp. 80–81.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 121–122, 131.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 121–122, 140-141; Albert 2006, p. 98; Knight 2016, p. 34.
- ^ Barsky 1997, p. 153; Sperlich 2006, pp. 24–25, 84–85.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 123–124; Sperlich 2006, p. 22.
- ^ a b Lyons 1978, pp. xv–xvi; Barsky 1997, pp. 120, 143.
- ^ a b Greif 2015, pp. 312–313.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 160–162; Sperlich 2006, p. 86.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 187–189.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 179–180; Sperlich 2006, p. 61.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 160, 202; Sperlich 2006, pp. 127–134.
- ^ Sperlich 2006, pp. 138–139.
- ^ Sperlich 2006, pp. 109–110.
- ^ Sperlich 2006, pp. 110–111.
- ^ Sperlich 2006, pp. 114–118.
- ^ Sperlich 2006, pp. 112–113, 120.
- ^ Vučić 2018.
- ^ Bobanović 2018.
- ^ Lyons 1978, p. 4; McGilvray 2014, pp. 2–3.
- ^ Lyons 1978, p. 6; McGilvray 2014, pp. 2–3.
- ^ Fernald & Marchman 2006, pp. 1027–1071.
- ^ de Bot 2015, pp. 57–61.
- ^ Pullum & Scholz 2002, pp. 9—50.
- ^ Harlow 2010, pp. 752–753.
- ^ a b c Szabó 2010.
- ^ Sperlich 2006, p. 74; McGilvray 2014, pp. 12–13.
- ^ McGilvray 2014, pp. 164–165.
- ^ McGilvray 2014, pp. 14–15.
- ^ McGilvray 2014, pp. 201–202.
- ^ Barsky 1997, p. 170; Sperlich 2006, pp. 76–77; McGilvray 2014, p. 159.
- ^ Rai 1995, pp. 37–38.
- ^ McGilvray 2014, pp. 179–182.
- ^ Cipriani 2016, pp. 44–60.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 192–195; Sperlich 2006, p. 53.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 206–207.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 140–141; Chomsky 1996, pp. 135–136; Weiner 1995.
- ^ McGilvray 2014, pp. 9–10.
- ^ Baroni & Callegari 1982, pp. 201–218.
- ^ Steedman 1984, pp. 52–77.
- ^ Rohrmeier 2007, pp. 97–100.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 153–154.
- ^ Barsky 1997, pp. 170–171.
- ^ UoW–M 2010.
- ^ Erdös Number at Oakland Univ 2017.
- ^ Páez 2019.
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