5 - Natalie Yu 5. How does the phrase “Colorless green...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Natalie Yu 5. How does the phrase “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously” help us understand the difference between language acquisition and language learning? From the very first video we saw in the course, the famous sentence by Noam Chomsky, “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously” was quoted at its beginning. The sentence is syntactically correct, yet its semantics is not. Its syntax is correct: Adjectives (“colorless” and “green”) modifying a noun subject (“ideas”), followed by an action verb done by the subject (“sleep”) and an adverb (“furiously”) modifying the verb. And the verb is conjugate i.e. agrees with the noun. (An example of a verb not agreeing with the noun will be “They eats”.) Nobody can really have an image of what is going on in the sentence because it is semantically conflicting. The semantics of being “colorless” is a sufficient condition of not being “green”; and an idea, even though it is a noun and is appropriate to be put as a subject in a...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 03/21/2012 for the course LING 300 taught by Professor Anthropology during the Spring '12 term at Wisconsin Milwaukee.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online