The Mirage of Linguistics

I recently did a video on the relationship between linguistics and language learning. I am trying to explain that in many ways linguistics contributes to an over complication of language learning and language instruction. I referred to the work of Amorey Geithin. Here is his article called ” The Mirage of Linguistics”.

To give you a taste, here is the table of contents of Geithin’s article. Enjoy!




The importance of understanding the nature of language and thought

Language supposed to be the key to human thought and personality

Chomsky believes the form of language is determined by the form of the human mind – his theory flawed by elementary mistakes

Chomsky’s argument for the existence of ‘universal grammar’

Chomsky’s and Pinker’s mistakes regarding the forming of questions

Intonation is more basic to question meanings than structure

Diversity, not universality, characterize question forms

Identical sequences of words can be both statements and questions

Questions that are completely structure-free

Pinker’s and Chomsky’s double error regarding question formation

Many languages do form questions by mirror-reversal

Reversed pairs can be attached to longer sentences to form questions

Grammatical abstractions cannot exist independently of meaning

The non-existence of grammatical ‘dummies’

The fallacy of the correlation of prepositions with verb-object sequences and postpositions with object-verb sequences

How do you determine whether a language is a VO language or an OV language?

Pinker has not told us the whole truth about VO and OV word orders

Failure to examine foreign languages leads Pinker into a further false assertion about innate knowledge

Demonstration that, contrary to Chomsky, grammatical analysis is impossible without first understanding meaning

Meaning must come before categorization into parts of speech

Further demonstration of Chomsky’s illogicality regarding meaning and grammar

Pinker’s muddled view of the connection between concepts and parts of speech

The square pegs of reality forced into the round holes of language


Want to learn language from content you love?

You may also like

1 comment on “The Mirage of Linguistics

Steve, I am indebted to you for this link to such a brilliant thinker on language learning, not unlike yourself. I feel his article on “the Fraud of the English-teaching Industry” raises a lot of question that have yet to be answered for.

Also, to let you know I’m still an avid user of LingQ as I’m learning Japanese from Tokyo. I’m finding it very transparent thanks to my fluency in Korean, and the number of excellent resources available for study (including LingQ of course, but also the flashcard application Anki). I feel that going from Korean to Japanese must be somehow easier than the other way around. I wonder, are you still continuing your journey towards acquisition of Korean?

P.S I’m doing an MA TESOL at the moment and have plans to publish some research that uses LingQ in the future. I’ll get in touch with you about the details if I ever get anything accepted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.