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Is CHL linguistically specific?

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CHL is Noam Chomsky's shorthand for "Single Computational System of human language." CHL is that part of the faculty of language (FL) that integrates lexical information to form linguistic expressions at the interfaces where language interacts with other cognitive systems. In this paper, I am asking whether the elements of FL are dedicated to language alone, or whether significant parts of FL might apply beyond language. From a close examination of the properties of the principles of CHL, I argue that they might well apply to a class of natural symbol systems that includes language and other cognitive systems. This issue of linguistic specificity differs from a similar issue raised recently by Chomsky. For Chomsky, while the "elements" of the linguistic system per se are drawn from all over nature, general principles of computational efficiency control the operation of the system. Currently, there is little empirical motivation for this vast generalization to all of nature. The more restricted generalization proposed here looks better suited to the current form of inquiry on language and related system.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-06-01

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