Volume 24, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0302-5160
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9781
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SUMMARYIn this article we will analyze two aspects of Andrés Bello's (1781-1865) grammatical thought: its relation to the English empiricists and its similarity with generative grammar. His relation to the English empiricists is due to the fact that Bello spent 19 years in London, where he became familiar with the work of Locke, Berkeley, Hume and reid. in fact his philosophical work, Filosofia del entendimiento, sounds like some of those philosophers' essays. From the empiricists Bello derives the idea that there is no innate universal grammar with rules present in all languages, as well as his concept of language as an independent system of arbitrary and conventional signs. From reid he derived his interpretation of the evolution of the language: signs start as 'natural' (i.e., they allow humans to communicate without any particular language), and then they become 'artificial', i.e., arbitrary and conventional, particular to each grammatical system. Because of his philosophical position, Bello has been compared to structuralist linguists. Here we will show that some of Bello's grammatical thoughts can be compared with those of Chomsky. The reason for this is that in his grammatical analysis Bello uses concepts reminiscent of generative grammar. For example, Bello proposes the notion of an 'latent proposition' similar to that of 'deep structure'. And when he analyzes for example relative clauses and elliptical constmctions, he uses concepts that are familiar to générative grammarians. in other words, the paper tries to show that methodologically and analytically Bello shares some concepts present in Chomsky's linguistic theory. it also shows differences between Bello and Chomsky, and concludes by pointing out that the major difference between the two linguists is that Bello assumes language can be learned through a symbolic system, while Chomsky assumes language to be innate and independent of other cognitive systemsof the mind.RÉSUMÉCet article analyse deux aspects de la pensée grammaticale d' Andrés Bello (1781-1865): son rapport avec les empiristes anglais et sa similarité á la grammaire générative. Dans son oeuvre philosophique, Filosofia del entendimiento, Bello affirme, entre autres choses, qu'il n'y a pas une grammaire innée universelle dont les règles se retrouveraient dans toutes les langues du monde. Toutefois, du point de vue de la méthode et de l'analyse, certaines de ses idées sont semblables á celles de Chomsky. Ainsi, Bello propose la notion d'une proposition soujacente qui est très semblable á celle de la structure profonde. En outre, quand il analyse certaines structures, par example les phrases relatives, il utilise des concepts, comme celui d'ellipse, qui sont présents dans la grammaire générative des annés 60. Nous soulignons aussi certaines différences entre Bello et Chomsky. Par example, Bello part du principe que le langage est appris gráce á un système symbolique, tandis que pour Chomsky il est acquis indépendamment des autres systèmes cognitifs de l'esprit.ZUSAMMENFASSUNGIn diesem Artikel werden zwei Aspekte der grammatischen Theorien von Andrés Bello (1781-1865) analysiert: die Beziehung zu den englischen Empiristen und die áhnlichkeit mit der générativen Grammatik. in seinem philoso-phischen Werk, Filosofia del entendimiento, behauptet Bello u.a., daG es keine angeborene universelle Grammatik gibt, die mit in allen Sprachen gleichmáGig vorhandenen regeln versehen ist. methodologisch und analytisch kann man doch sagen, daG einige seiner ideen denen Chomskys ähnlich sind. Bello macht z.B. den Vorschlag, daG es eine 'underlying proposition' gibt, die der Chomsky'schen Tiefenstruktur ähnlich ist. Fúí untergeordnete Satzteile benutzt er z.B. Konzepte wie Ellipse, die in der générativen Grammatik der 60er Jahre anzutreffen waren. Wir erwáhnen auch einige Unterschiede zwischen Bello und Chomsky. Bello nimmt z.B. an, daG man eine Sprache mittels eines symbolischen Systems erlernt, während Chomsky behauptet, daß man sich eine Sprache unabhängig von anderen mentalen, kognitiven Systemen aneignet.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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