The language instinct debate
When I used LinkedIn to post my opinion, ( yes, mere opinion, I am not an expert) that Geoffrey Sampson, in his book ‘The Language Instinct Debate’, had used powerful empirical and deductive arguments to destroy the idea that language is an instinct, it started quite a debate. My instinct tells me that a universal grammar such as Chomsky claims to exist is unlikely and I have not seen much evidence in support of it from Chomsky or his supporters, including the renowned Stephen Pinker. Neither did I find much evidence for grammatical boundaries when I was teaching my daughters! At Blabmate ( www.blabmate.com ) we aim to help people find an online English teacher and we intend to ask our teachers where they sit in this debate.
Now another powerful book has come along to harden my scepticism about Chomsky and Pinker : The Language Myth by Vyvyan Evans. Enter this debate with your mind open please!