KARYA DOSEN Fakultas Sastra UM, 2009

Ukuran Huruf:  Kecil  Sedang  Besar


Achmad Effendi Kadarisman


“Universal Grammar” or UG has been a popular term since the early 1980s, or more precisely since the publication of Chomsky’s (1981) Lectures on Government and Binding.  Despite its popularity, however, the term has met diverse reactions.  Because UG theory deals with highly abstract linguistic principles, it is mostly comprehensible to few scholars of formal linguistics but often partly or even totally puzzling to many students of language.  Moreover, because of its big claims in linguistic theorizing, UG may have been taken as a whole truth, a partial truth, or even an abstract nonsense.  Among hard-core Chomskyans, UG is seen as the best possible theory for its (claim of) explanatory adequacy.  Among those who see language both as a social construct and a mental reality, UG may at best be taken as half a truth, because it deals with language only as a psychological fact while ignoring social aspects of language.  Among those who commit themselves to “linguistics of particularity” (e.g., Becker 1995), UG remains up there in the abstract and fails to show the local significance of language as used in its cultural context. Taking into account these diverse reactions to UG, this article presents a brief historical and critical overview of UG, highlighting its inception and its changing characteristics through half a century of its development, and taking a closer look at its theoretical claims so as to prove that not all of them are justified empirically.

Teks Penuh: PDF