No.13 Universality and Principle of All Languages

Articles in English

The above files are translation files!

Hello everyone!
I’m Chani who thinks most coffee shops and restaurants are really inconvenient because most of them don’t have WIFI. I’m usually in Japan for three months every year, but Japan really doesn’t have wifi. It’s hard for me who don’t contract phone ( ´Д`)y━・~~

This is an article about languages, which you probably are coming to the Chan Blog because you learn languages! Have you ever felt a sense of affinity when you were learning a language as a second language because it was similar in grammar and usage with your native language? That’s because all languages have certain universality inherent in it.

I found a video provided by TED explaining the commonality of the language, so I hope I can share it with you.( ´ ▽ ` )

So we’re going to learn English from Cameron Morin’s presentation with the title “What do all languages have in common” from TED!

 

  1. Contents
    1. Emergence of universal grammar
    2. The two main components of universal grammar
      1. Whether there are grammar rules that are universal to all languages
      2. Whether these rules are hardwired in the brain
    3. Development of Analysis Tools to Identify Universal Grammar
    4. Flaws in the Analysis Tools
    5. A point of view of the presence or absence of universal grammatical rules in every language
      1. Revision of universal grammatical theory : First time
      2. Revision of universal grammatical theory : Second time
    6. A point of view of the presence or absence of these rules are hardwired in the brain
      1. Acquired linguistic ability
    7. Conclusion
  2. Summary
    1. Emergence of universal grammar : In the early 1950s, Norm Chomsky theorized the infinite possibilities of language ; the theory of universal grammar. Universal grammar is a theory that holds grammatical rules that apply to all languages. Let’s say the rules are natural and the human brain was built to handle languages that follow these rules.
    2. the two main components of universal grammar : Chomsky and other researchers studied two main components of universal grammar. Those items are below.Whether there are grammar rules that are universal to all languagesWhether these rules are hardwired in the brain
    3. Development of Analysis Tools to Identify Universal Grammar : Chomsky developed an analysis tool known as a generative syntax that represents the order of words in a hierarchical tree that indicates whether a language structure is possible when establishing universal rules for grammar.
    4. Flaws in the analysis : Establishing rules for a language requires a lot of data from each language, but when Chomsky proposed universal grammar, many languages lacked the amount of records required for analysis using the generated syntax. Even though there was a lot of data, it was very complicated to map the structure of the language.
    5. Revision of universal grammatical theory : First time: 50 years later, as research and analysis progresses, Chomsky revised the theory to accommodate this change and suggested a parameter hypothesis in the 1980s, reflecting the fact that universal grammatical rule theory was flawed. According to this hypothesis, all languages shared certain grammatical principles, but their ranges were varied, and the application of these principles was different.
    6. Revision of universal grammatical theory : Second time : In the early 2000s, Chomsky proposed only one shared common principle, which he called Recursion. Recursion means that the structures can fit tightly inside each other. Although Recursion was a good candidate for universal grammatical rules because it can take on a variety of forms, it has released a study on Amazonian languages that says no recursive structure, called Piraha.
    7. Congenital language ability : Chomsky’s idea that language ability was naturally determined was opposed by linguists, saying that the genetic coded biological mechanism is at the root of language learning.
    8. Conclusion : The universality of language has not been clarified, but research and analysis for that purpose has been promoted.
  3. In the end

Contents

Language changes endlessly. We come up with infinite sentences within our native language. And as soon as we start communicating in making sentences, we can do so. How can we do this? 

 

Emergence of universal grammar

In the early 1950s, Norm Chomsky proposed an observation-based theory, “universal grammar,” which included this reason in grammar.

Universal grammar is a theory that holds grammatical rules that apply to all languages. Let’s say the rules are natural and the human brain was built to handle languages that follow these rules.

The emergence of this universal grammar has led to many studies and analysis in an effort to unravel the mechanism.

 

The two main components of universal grammar

Chomsky and other researchers set out to investigate two main components of universal grammar. Those are as follows.

Whether there are grammar rules that are universal to all languages

Whether these rules are hardwired in the brain

 

Development of Analysis Tools to Identify Universal Grammar

Chomsky developed an analysis tool known as a generative syntax that represents the order of words in a hierarchical tree that indicates whether a language structure is possible when establishing universal rules for grammar.

This hierarchy tree can suggest grammatical rules that adverbs must occur in verb phrases.

However, more data quickly reveals that adverbs appear outside the verb phrase. This simplified example illustrates the main problem.

 

Flaws in the Analysis Tools

Establishing rules for that language requires a lot of data from each language before you can determine which rules are common to which language.

When Chomsky proposed universal grammar, many languages lacked the amount of records needed to be analyzed using the generative syntax. Even though there was a lot of data, mapping the structure of the language was very complex.

 

A point of view of the presence or absence of universal grammatical rules in every language

Revision of universal grammatical theory : First time

After 50 years of analysis, we still don’t fully understand English. As more language data has been collected and analyzed, it has become clear that the world’s languages are widely different, and because of that, Universal grammar Hypothesis was challenged it mechanism.

In response of that, Chomsky modified the theory in the 1980s to accommodate the change. According to his new principles and parameter hypothesis, all languages shared certain grammatical principles; The range varies. These principles are also applied differently.

For example, “You must have a subject in every sentence.” However, whether it may be necessary to explicitly describe the subject depending on different languages.

 

Revision of universal grammatical theory : Second time

In the early 2000s, Chomsky proposed a shared common principle. It is called Recursion. Recursion means that the structures can fit tightly inside each other.

For example, Take these sentences as samples, 

①The dog regret that Annie discovered that the dog ate the homework.

This sentence embeds a sentence within a sentence within a sentence.

②The carnival plant in the pot in the space
This sentence embeds a noun phrase in a noun phrase in a noun phrase.

Recursion was a good candidate for universal rules of grammar because it could take on a variety of forms.

But in 2005, linguists published a study on the Amazonian language, saying they had never seen a recursive structure called Piraha.

 

A point of view of the presence or absence of these rules are hardwired in the brain

Acquired linguistic ability

So what about Chomsky’s other theory that our language ability is congenital? When he first proposed universal grammar, the genetic determination of language acquisition had a profound and revolutionary effect.

It challenged the dominant paradigm called behavioralism. Behaviourists argued that all animal and human behavior, including language, was acquired from the outside by the mind beginning with the white slate. 

But now scientists recognize that behaviorism was wrong.

And because language learning is based on genetically coded biological mechanisms, linguists objected to Chomsky’s idea that the brain has certain, isolated and congenital functions.

Conclusion

As a result, the universal commonality of languages has not yet been revealed. Chomsky’s “universal grammatical theory” failed to clearly identify language commonality, but encouraged research on language universality. The findings of this hypothesis will someday be necessary to discover the universality of language.

 

Summary

Emergence of universal grammar : In the early 1950s, Norm Chomsky theorized the infinite possibilities of language ; the theory of universal grammar. Universal grammar is a theory that holds grammatical rules that apply to all languages. Let’s say the rules are natural and the human brain was built to handle languages that follow these rules.

 

the two main components of universal grammar : Chomsky and other researchers studied two main components of universal grammar. Those items are below.Whether there are grammar rules that are universal to all languagesWhether these rules are hardwired in the brain

 

Development of Analysis Tools to Identify Universal Grammar : Chomsky developed an analysis tool known as a generative syntax that represents the order of words in a hierarchical tree that indicates whether a language structure is possible when establishing universal rules for grammar.

 

Flaws in the analysis : Establishing rules for a language requires a lot of data from each language, but when Chomsky proposed universal grammar, many languages lacked the amount of records required for analysis using the generated syntax. Even though there was a lot of data, it was very complicated to map the structure of the language.

 

Revision of universal grammatical theory : First time: 50 years later, as research and analysis progresses, Chomsky revised the theory to accommodate this change and suggested a parameter hypothesis in the 1980s, reflecting the fact that universal grammatical rule theory was flawed. According to this hypothesis, all languages shared certain grammatical principles, but their ranges were varied, and the application of these principles was different.

 

Revision of universal grammatical theory : Second time : In the early 2000s, Chomsky proposed only one shared common principle, which he called Recursion. Recursion means that the structures can fit tightly inside each other. Although Recursion was a good candidate for universal grammatical rules because it can take on a variety of forms, it has released a study on Amazonian languages that says no recursive structure, called Piraha.

Congenital language ability : Chomsky’s idea that language ability was naturally determined was opposed by linguists, saying that the genetic coded biological mechanism is at the root of language learning.

Conclusion : The universality of language has not been clarified, but research and analysis for that purpose has been promoted.

 

In the end

It was concluded that, after all, we couldn’t clarify language universality( i _ i ). Personally, I think it’s not difficult to find the universality of things. But if you formalize or schematize it, it becomes more complicated.

If you try to translate a language, you can understand that simple expressions and sentences of foreign grammar and words are replaced with your native language, and that simplicity becomes complicated. When you go to bookstores, there are books that are translated into English and sold. Have you ever thought that they were written in a slightly complicated and roundabout ? Actually, the original is not difficult. Of course, translators’ abilities could be the reason but there are such books quite a lot.

I think you can feel that there is universality on your skin, but it’s difficult if you asked to visualize it and prove it. People place importance on universality as a common value. That’s what common sense. Common sense is a concept that is necessary to stabilize society to a certain extent. However, if we place too much emphasis on the evaluation criteria of common sense, we may lose sight of universality. It’s dark under the lighthouse.

I think we need to constantly examine the universality we know, because that individual’s universality differs from one individual to another, organization to country. I think it’s okay to stick to your universality. However, if you accept a different individual, organization or country of the universality and expand the ranges, I think that’s all going to be ok.

Well, the point is that universality should always be examined, updated, and expanded.
Everyone, we’ve been through a tough period because of Corona-virus, Take care of yourself. ٩( ‘ω’ )。

 

Then bye bye (@^^)/~~~

 

TED talkによる英語学習がおすすめな理由 10選
200本以上のTED talkを見た僕が、TEDによる英語学習がおすすめな理由を10選紹介いたします。

 

TOEFL 110 + strategy by a multi-lingualist
Do you have troubles what to use to study TOEFL? This article is based on advice from over 30 sites, YouTube and official TOEFL sites and on my experience as a multilingual in learning.

 

References – YouTube.com
Thumbnail – YouTube.com

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