Sus antecedentes en la filosofia británica y su proyección en la lingüistica moderna
In this article we will analyze two aspects of Andrés Bello’s (1781–1865) grammatical thought: its relation to the English empiricists and its similarity with generative grammar. His relation to the English empiricists is due to the fact that Bello spent 19 years in London, where he became familiar with the work of Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Reid. In fact his philosophical work, Filosofía del entendimiento, sounds like some of those philosophers’ essays. From the empiricists Bello derives the idea that there is no innate universal grammar with rules present in all languages, as well as his concept of language as an independent system of arbitrary and conventional signs. From Reid he derived his interpretation of the evolution of the language: signs start as ‘natural’ (i.e., they allow humans to communicate without any particular language), and then they become ‘artificial’, i.e., arbitrary and conventional, particular to each grammatical system. Because of his philosophical position, Bello has been compared to structuralist linguists. Here we will show that some of Bello’s grammatical thoughts can be compared with those of Chomsky. The reason for this is that in his grammatical analysis Bello uses concepts reminiscent of generative grammar. For example, Bello proposes the notion of an ‘latent proposition’ similar to that of ‘deep sttaicture’. And when he analyzes for example relative clauses and elliptical constructions, he uses concepts that are familiar to generative grammarians. In other words, the paper tries to show that methodologically and analytically Bello shares some concepts present in Chomsky’s linguistic theory. It also shows differences between Bello and Chomsky, and concludes by pointing out that the major difference between the two linguists is that Bello assumes language can be learned through a symbolic system, while Chomsky assumes language to be innate and independent of other cognitive systemsof the mind.
Article language: Spanish