Image of Chomsky's <i>Elements of Linguistic Structure</i> Chomsky's Elements of Linguistic Structure
Elements of Linguistic Structure, Noam Chomsky, 1955

Well known for both his groundbreaking contributions to linguistics and philosophy as well as his political activism, Noam Chomsky has taught at MIT for over 55 years. When Chomsky joined the department in the 1950s, linguistics at MIT was classified as a “communication science,” affiliated with the Research Laboratory of Electronics. The department’s physical location in Building 20 encouraged formal and informal collaboration with individuals and groups working on cybernetics, acoustics, and artificial intelligence. This manuscript from 1955 is one of Chomsky’s first works on his influential concept of generative grammar: the idea that humans have some innate knowledge of grammar from birth, and that language acquisition cannot totally be explained by the relatively sparse stimuli they are exposed to as pre-verbal children.

On loan from the Institute Archives and Special Collections.

RSS icon
  • Shoudn’t the title here be “Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory”, not “Elements of Linguistic Structure”?

    10 Jan 11 at 10:08 am
  • Hi… I was wondering how to get my hands on Chomsky’s Thesis draft online, or any other such paper he has written with regard to syntax and light verb. I am currently in my final year studying Linguistics (Advanced Syntax). If you could help in any way, I would be most grateful.
    Tom (in London: University of Westminster)

    tom debney
    5 Dec 11 at 2:07 pm