From the "Inferential Man" interview at http://www.pitt.edu/~rbrandom/publist.html
"Norms are binding only insofar as one has endorsed them and adopted them. For example, to take the coin in my pocket to be copper, I have bound myself to that commitment that it’s copper. By binding myself by these discursive norms, particularly the contents of concepts, that’s the root of substantial expressive freedom, as Chomsky has brought home to us over the last half century. Chomsky’s thought begins with the observation that almost every sentence uttered by an adult speaker is radically novel, novel not just in the sense that that speaker has never uttered or heard that particular sequence of words before, but that almost certainly no one in the history of the world has ever uttered or heard that particular sentence. That expressive freedom makes it possible for us to entertain new possibilities as to how things are or might be, and to entertain new goals and new plans"
I've seen Brandom make similar lauditory comments about Chomsky in his published writings, although I cannot remember where. I gather he thinks the idea of infinite productions from finite means (which Chomsky did not discover) is a critically important aspect of speech practice.
this puzzles me. personally, I think Chomsky is the antithesis of a good scholar. I can't think of a single thing he has ever written that is not a piece of ideology, or even proganda. more to the point: Chomsky's idea of linguistic creativity is precisely not free. the "radically new" sentences we create are 100% determined by the alleged "grammar" machine we carry around in our heads. I don't see any room there for genuine innovation.
so why is Brandom of all people so enamoured of the Pied Piper of MIT? I can't see how language could be both socially constructed and innate. there are lots of highly regarded scholars who reject Chomsky root and branch in favor of a much more pragmatic perpsective. (obvious example: I am capable of traveling to the corner store in an infinite number of ways, ways that nobody in the history of the world has ever done. so what?) the regularity of language, and the creativity of speakers, can be accounted for without relying on predefined notions of "grammar", let alone innateness. So whassup with Bobby Brandom? ;)