30 Jul The Amazon Code
I´ve watched the documentary “The Amazon Code” very recently and it struck me as one of the most fascinating documentaries I´ve ever watched in connection with linguistics.
What this documentary does is to challenge the basis of modern linguistics, i.e, the theory of Universal Grammar. For those of you who are not acquainted with this theory, credited to Noam Chomsky, all languages share a common structural basis and all human beings are born with a certain ability to learn languages. We only need to be exposed to a specific language in order to set the right parameters. This is a constructive view of language learning which has dominated modern linguistics for years. However, it has its critics. One of these is Daniel Everett, who claims that the Pirahã language lacks some properties inherent in all languages and, therefore, challenges Chomsky´s theory.