Noam Chomsky (December 7, 1928 – Present)

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  • Noam Chomsky is born

  • Chomsky publishes his first academic article

    Chomsky publishes his first academic article
    In 1952 Chomsky publishes "Systems of Syntactic Analysis" in The Journal of Symbolic Logic. That this article about syntax appeared not in a journal of linguistics but in a journal about symbolic logic indicates not only Chomsky's use of the tools of analytical philosophy to the science of linguistics but also the wide-ranging applicability of his research in many disciplines, especially in philosophy of science.
  • Period: to

    Professor at MIT

  • The Cognitive Revolution (1950s –)

    Chomsky, along with scholars such as George Miller, was a major player in the Cognitive Revolution. The Cognitive Revolution was a significant paradigm shift from the behavioralist view to a more cognitive assessment of the human mind and behavior. This involved an overhaul of the way the human mind was studied - Chomsky described the cognitive and behavioralist positions as rationalist and empiricist, respectively.
  • Chomsky publishes Syntactic Structures

    Chomsky publishes Syntactic Structures
    In Syntactic Structures Chomsky advocates for the model of generative/universal grammar. This model suggests that, contrary to behavioralist scholars such as B.F. Skinner, that the human behavior of language is not a learned behavior but that the structure of language itself is innate and generative. This means that the capacity for language a congnitive structure innate to humans, which generates grammatical sentences in human language, universally.
  • Chomsky publishes Reflections on Language

    Reflections on Language is an example of Chomsky furthering his rationalist approach to the study of linguistics. The key element of his rationalist approach when it comes to language is innateness. The view of language as innate necessitates rejecting a sensory-input-only approach. This rationalist approach to science embodied in the cognitive sciences revolutionized many disciplines, especially psychology, linguistics, computer science, neuroscience, philosophy, and anthropology.