Retrospective

XVII.6 November + December 2010
Page: 70
Digital Citation

Learning from John Rheinfrank


Authors:
Jon Freach

"Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand."¬óConfucius There are evolving theories about how humans learn language. Plato began the debate by arguing that word-meaning mapping was a built-in human condition. Later, Noam Chomsky expanded on this theory by stating language was a "universal grammar," a common grammar innate to us. Most recently, Steven Pinker argues for a "language instinct," saying the mind is a Swiss army knife that adapts to evolutionary changes. For three years in the mid-1990s, I had the fortune of learning a new language of…




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