First Blog Post

This is a blog about language and the language sciences; there are already lots of blogs on lots of topics, but they all seem to have a fairly narrow focus on NLP, or psycholinguistics or Chomskyan syntax or whatever, and while all these different fields have something to contribute to our understanding of language, it’s only through an appropriate integration of all of them that we will get some understanding of how language is learned and used by humans.

I have my own theories and ideas about what a mature theory will look like, and how we should go about constructing it, which can be thought of as broadly empiricist in sympathy, in that I feel that a good starting point is to assume that much if not all of the structure of language is learned from the data available to the child learner. While not of course denying that the innate structure of the child’s learning mechanisms is essential. So perhaps the term rational empiricism is a better slogan to use.

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