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Welcome!

This is my personal homepage, as well as the site for the sole proprietorship J.A. Brown, also known as “Department of Post-Chomskyan Linguistics”, of which I am the founder, owner and sole employee.

Who am I?

Apart from being an entrepreneur, I am also a YouTuber, Twitch streamer, and hopefully soon-to-be software developer. I have an MA in General Linguistics from Radboud University in Nijmegen. I wrote my MA thesis about the work I did as an intern at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, which involved using a computer model to simulate tasks related to word meaning. I enjoy philosophy, science and the arts, and I like to learn many different things. I also came up with the concept of “meaning science” (see below).

Why “Department of Post-Chomskyan Linguistics”?

It’s kind of a joke. I became interested in the so-called “Pirahã controversy” years ago. This controversy revolves around the linguist Daniel Everett and the Pirahã language, which according to him falsifies Noam Chomsky’s theory of linguistics, especially the part about the so-called “faculty of language”. There is much more to it, but that’s the controversy in a nutshell. If you want a more in-depth take on the whole thing, you can read this 2007 article from The New Yorker. I use the phrase “post-Chomskyan linguistics” to describe research that presents an alternative to traditional generative theories of grammar. Because I like that, I began jocularly referring to myself as the (one-man) “Department of Post-Chomskyan Linguistics”. It is now an official trade name I use for my business, registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. But perhaps it is a bit of a misnomer, since Chomsky himself has stated he doesn’t believe in the Minimalist Program anymore. That means the most hardcore ‘Chomskyans’ are now people other than Chomsky himself. Perhaps “post-generative” would be a better name. But I think this is funnier. You can access my academic work by clicking the page “Academic” in the menu above.

What exactly is “meaning science”?

“Meaning science” is a term I made up to describe my research interest in as few words as possible. I am interested in the three-way relationship between language, cognition and culture. While doing research on this, I eventually realized that all the findings revolve around a central theme: meaning. If you want to know more about meaning science, click the page “Whence ‘meaning scientist’?” in the menu above.