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know Noam Chomsky only from my linguistic studies at the University of Vienna. His theories about acquiring language competence led to a radical reorganization of the language courses which at this time mainly followed behaviourist approaches.

Well, yes, but his ideas are hotly disputed now. His biggest contribution my ultimately be Chomsky Normal Form, from Context Free Languages in automata theory. They're very helpful in programming and compiling, but his original intent was that they should model human languages.

Besides, his concepts of competence and performance have considerably influenced a lot of European sociological and media theories.

Maybe so, but his critics claim these ideas have never fully been explicated. His current theory, The Minimalist Program has serious problems. As a linguist, I have a love/hate relationship with Chomsky; amazed by his brilliance, but frustrated with his stubborness.

I hope to hear more here about Chomsky, the political person.

I'm glad you're here, here's a nice starting point.

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