Chomsky re-examined

Although Chomsky's criticisms did discredit corpus linguistics, they did not stop all corpus-based work. For example, in the field of phonetics, naturally observed data remained the dominant source of evidence with introspective judgements never making the impact they did on other areas of linguistic enquiry. Also, in the field of language acquisition the observation of naturally occuring evidence remained dominant. Introspective judgements are not available to the linguist/psychologist who is studying child language acquisition - try asking an eighteen-month-old child whether the word "moo-cow" is a noun or a verb! Introspective judgements are only available to us when our meta-linguistics awareness has developed, and there is no evidence that the child at the one-word stage have meta-linguistic awareness. Even Chomsky (1964) cautioned the rejection of performance data as a source of evidence for language acquisition studies.

Further reading

Criticisms of introspective data

Benefits of corpus data