Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Noam Chomsky and Linguistics

  • Víctor M. Longa
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3621-1



The impact of Noam Chomsky on the field of linguistics, particularly the evolution of language.


Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is one of the most influential contemporary thinkers. His huge impact surpasses linguistics to include psychology, philosophy, or computer science, among other fields. The advent of Chomsky’s generative grammar in the second half of the twentieth century challenged the traditional view that considered language to be a purely cultural trait deriving from our great intelligence and unlimited learning capacities, by claiming that language is an innate trait, part of the human biological endowment.

It would be hard to provide an overall presentation of Chomsky’s linguistic work, for it has been crucial in many topics: nativism, language and mind, universal grammar, the poverty of the stimulus, language acquisition, language structure, etc. All of these topics have been widely discussed and are...


Language Evolution Computational System Animal Communication Minimalist Program Universal Grammar 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PhilologyUniversidade de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain

Section editors and affiliations

  • Christopher D. Watkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Psychology, School of Social and Health SciencesAbertay UniversityDundeeUK