The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 7–38 | Cite as

The Chomsky-Place Correspondence 1993–1994

  • Noam Chomsky
  • Ullin T. Place
  • Ted Schoneberger


Edited correspondence between Ullin T Place and Noam Chomsky, which occurred in 1993–1994, is presented. The principal topics are (a) deep versus surface structure; (b) computer modeling of the brain; (c) the evolutionary origins of language; (d) behaviorism; and (e) a dispositional account of language. This correspondence includes Chomsky’s denial that he ever characterized deep structure as innate; Chomsky’s critique of computer modeling (both traditional and connectionist) of the brain; Place’s critique of Chomsky’s alleged failure to provide an adequate account of the evolutionary origins of language, and Chomsky’s response that such accounts are “pop-Darwinian fairy tales”; and Place’s arguments for, and Chomsky’s against, the relevance of behaviorism to linguistic theory, especially the relevance of a behavioral approach to language that is buttressed by a dispositional account of sentence construction.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noam Chomsky
    • 1
  • Ullin T. Place
    • 2
  • Ted Schoneberger
    • 3
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA
  2. 2.University of WalesBangorUK
  3. 3.California State UniversityTurlockUSA

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