Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):675-676 (2003)
The theoretical debate in linguistics during the past half-century bears an uncanny parallel to the politics of the (now defunct) Communist Bloc. The parallels are not so much in the revolutionary nature of Chomsky's ideas as in the Bolshevik manner of his takeover of linguistics (Koerner 1994) and in the Trotskyist (“permanent revolution”) flavor of the subsequent development of the doctrine of Transformational Generative Grammar (TGG) (Townsend & Bever 2001, pp. 37–40). By those standards, Jackendoff is quite a party faithful (a Khrushchev or a Dubcek, rather than a Solzhenitsyn or a Sakharov) who questions some of the components of the dogma, yet stops far short of repudiating it.
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