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"¿Naturaleza o artificio? La genética del lenguaje en el siglo XVIII" ["Nature or Art? The Genetics of Language in the Eighteenth Century"]

Author(s): Carlos R. Luis

Journal: Revista Argentina de Historiografía Lingüística
ISSN 1852-1495

Volume: I;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 35;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Grammar | linguistics | semiotics | Enlightenment | philosophy of language

In accordance with the sensualist principle that ideas stem from sensations, some of the philosophers of the Enlightenment, specially Condillac and his followers, faced the problem of language by looking at its origins. This genetic view focused on two aspects: parts of speech and word order. Their search for the origin of language –either historical or conjectural in nature– was part of the criticism to rationalist innatism. Concerning parts of speech, there are different hypotheses on the order in which they arose and the material needs they were a response to. As for word order, these authors’ theories bring the principle of logical, natural or universal structures into question.
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