Cartesian linguistics refers to a form of linguistics developed during the time of René Descartes, a prominent 17th century philosopher whose ideas continue to influence modern philosophy. Chomsky's book, Cartesian Linguistics, manages to trace the development of linguistic theory from Descartes himself to Wilhelm von Humboldt, or in other words, directly from the period of the Enlightenment up to Romanticism (59). The central doctrine of Cartesian linguistics maintains that the general features of grammatical structure are common to all languages and reflect certain fundamental properties of the mind

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