FROM FERDINAND DE SAUSSURE TO NOAM CHOMSKY
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The subject of this paper is to compare the attitudes of Ferdinand de Saussure and Noam Chomsky about the nature of language, with reference to the thoughts of the linguists who preceeded them and who had the greatest influence on them. The aim of this paper is to show how Saussure and Chomsky understood the concept of language, the relationship between language and mind, as well as what the subject of the study of linguistics is. The paper shows that Saussure’s approach is fundamentally different from Chomsky’s approach, which is due both to the tradition to which they both belong and to their understanding of basic concepts related to language. Saussure considers linguistic phenomena a socially established convention, which is not preceded by any concepts in the human mind, while Chomsky sees language as an innate mechanism, subject to universal principles, common to all people, with pre-existing concepts.