The Gospel according to Chomsky

In the beginning was Bloomfield. And his theory was without form, and structuralist; and darkness was upon the face of Chomsky.

And Chomsky said: Let there be transformations, and there were transformations. And Chomsky saw the transformations, that they were good; and Chomsky divided the surface from the deep structure. And that was the start of generative grammars.

And Chomsky made three great lights. And the greatest light was explanatory adequacy; and the lesser lights were descriptive adequacy, and observational adequacy. And Chomsky set them into the firmament of the 'Aspects' meta-theory, and he said: Let all other grammars be judged by them.

Chomsky said: Let MIT bring forth grammarians and grammars yielding trees after my kind, and the trees yielding sentences after their kind. And Chomsky blessed them, and said: Be infinitely recursive, and multiply. And Chomsky saw that they were good.

And Chomsky said: Let us make graduate students in our image, and let them have dominion over the psychologist in the laboratory, and the philosophers in the ivory towers, and over every creeping linguist that creepeth over the earth.

And this was the `Aspects' model. And the `Aspects' model was with Chomsky, and, for a short while, the ` Aspects' model was Chomsky.

All grammars were made by him; and without him was not any linguistic theory that was made. In him was the Competence Hypothesis; and the Competence Hypothesis was the light of all grammarians. And the theory shineth upon the Behaviorists, but they comprehended it not.

And the doubters saith unto him, Noam. We know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way. Chomsky saith unto them. I am the way, the truth and the life of linguistics; no-one cometh unto a true grammar, but by the Competence Hypothesis.

For `Aspects' came not in old time by the will of Dualists; but by Chomsky as he was moved by the Holy Ghost of his linguistics degree.

Then Chomsky so loved linguistic theory, that he gave his most recently begotten child, Government and Binding, that whosoever believeth in it shall not suffer a paradigm change, but shall have everlasting validity.

For Chomsky sent not Government and Binding into linguistic theory to condemn transformations, but that transformations through it might be saved.

But there were false prophets among the linguists, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, like Categorial Grammar, even denying the book that begat their theoretical framework, and bringing swift disaster upon their heads and modifiers.

And they will gain many adherents to their dissolute practices, through whom the true way of Chomsky shall be brought into disrepute, especially in Edinburgh. And in their greed for SERC funding they will trade upon your credulity with sheer fabrications.

The judgement long decreed for them has not been idle; perdition waits for them with unsleeping eyes. The day of Chomsky will come again, unexpected as a thief.

On that day, `Heads without bars' shall disappear with a great gushing sound, and f-structures shall disintegrate in flames; and Universal Grammar and all that is in it, shall be laid bare.

Since even the whole of MIT is to break up in this way, think what sort of people you ought to be, what devout and dedicated lives you should live!

Wherefore, beloved, with these things to look forward to, be diligent that ye be at peace with ` Aspects', without blemish and above reproach in its sight. And remember that the patience of Chomsky is our salvation, as is shown in his writings in Linguistic Inquiry where he speaks of these things; though they contain some obscure passages, with which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also his other writings, unto their own destruction.

But you, my friends, are forewarned. Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.

(Found in Edinburgh, GB)