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Forty-Four Reasons
Why the Chomskians Are Mistaken

Reason 14

14. The dubious validity of the linguistic "calculations" evolved by the Chomskians, sometimes known as "doing linguistics" and combining dubious mathematics with programming techniques unlikely to run outside the narrow circumstances for which they were created (and perhaps not even there). These offshoots of predicate calculus, alleged to predict, measure, and describe the correctness and grammaticality of all sentences in any language, fill the pages of volumes and journals glanced at only occasionally even by other adepts of this art. But if this approach has indeed achieved its goal, then why do people still have trouble writing their native language, why do our computer style-checkers still not function adequately, and why are the pages of these supposed guides themselves filled with so many stylistic blunders?

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This piece is Copyright © 2000
by Alexander Gross, with specified
portions Copyright © 2000 by
Sergio Navega. It may be
reproduced for individuals and for
educational purposes only. It may
not be used for any commercial (i.e.,
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