Re: Chomsky paper

karl h schwerin (schwerin@UNM.EDU)
Mon, 11 Dec 1995 14:26:13 -0700

On Mon, 4 Dec 1995, Jana Fortier wrote:

> I (despirately) need any input on Chomsky as applied to anthro.
> >In one of his books I read that he considers Levi-Strauss the
> >only one doing getting anywhere near what he considers the
> >"right direction" .
> just a bit of lore from my undergraduate days. i read something in DAEDALUS
> (a journal)from ?1973 by a well known sociolinguist (Dell Hymes) who
> despises chomsky. The article is called something like "Inequality among
> speakers". he talkes about chomsky's transformational
> grammar theories which were so popular in the 1960-80's. He argued that
> T-grammar was forced upon us for political reasons
> meant to increase the influence of the MIT linguists. he was right, too.
> Concerning anthro, T-grammar was really influencial, especially in
> structuralism, cognitive anthro and ethnoscience. chomsky loves (yuck) Levi
> - Strauss cuz L-S basically lifted Chomsky's T-grammar and applied it to
> kinship and exchange studies. (more yuck). remember the idea that there is
> a surface structure and a deep structure to language? L-S applied this to
> culture, looking for deep structures of thought which became evident in the
> surface structure of cultural activities. take L-S's explorations of myth,
> for example. in STRUCTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY (wow, so long ago), he has an
> section called "4 winnibago myths". he shows how they look on the surface,
> i.e., when they're told (w/ no contextual features unfortunately). then he
> goes into their "deep structures" to show basic underlying ideologies held
> by the Winnegago.
> more babble on this? just email me.
> Jana
The exact reference is:
Hymes, Dell. 1973. "On the Origins and Foundations of Inequality Among
Speakers," Daedalus 102(3):59-85 (Summer 1973)

Karl Schwerin SnailMail: Dept. of Anthropology
Univ. of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131

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