Amazon tribe “shakes foundations of modern linguistics”

Wired reports:

According to Noam Chomsky’s linguistic theories, humans have evolved to possess an innate, biological set of grammatical “building blocks” of which recursion — the ability to insert one phrase inside another — is perhaps the most fundamental. But an isolated Amazon tribe speaks a language without recursion, and they are, in the words of cognitive scientist Steven Pinker, “a bomb thrown into the party” of modern linguistics.


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