[Smt-talk] Classical Form and Recursion

Wayne Slawson ygm at yankgulchmusic.com
Tue Mar 24 12:16:31 PDT 2009

Re Meeùs's question:

>  Is Chomsky's idea of linguistic recursion merely that (Chomsky's  
> idea), or is it a property of language?

I don't think there's a way of answering this definitively, just as  
there is no way of proving that any theory about nature is true.  But  
Chomsky's account of how nested relative clauses work---by  
recursion---is simple (relatively), plausible, and adequate.   
Actually, Chomsky makes the stronger claim that recursion is a  
property of the human mind;  he should not be surprised if it turns  
out that  another product of human thought, tonal music, seems to  
exhibit recursion.

Wayne Slawson

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