Introduction: The Pains of Being Owenians/Chomskyans/Cartesians at Heart

Sergio Balari and Guillermo Lorenzo

in Computational Phenotypes

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199665464
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746116 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Biolinguistics

Introduction: The Pains of Being Owenians/Chomskyans/Cartesians at Heart

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There exists a gap between linguistics and biology, in that the degree of resolution of observations coming from the latter are completely mismatched relative to the extremely detailed analyses of the former. Besides, linguistic analyses usually contain complex technicalities motivated by theory-internal reasons, which have very little to do with an explication of the Faculty of Language (FL) from a true naturalistic stance. The impact of these considerations on the evolutionary study of language is clear: how could such a complex and intricate system as FL, with no obvious connections with the cognition of other species, have evolved and in such little time as language seems to have been around? The starting point of this book is the identification of a level of analysis that the authors consider “neutral” between those traditionally considered by linguists and biologists and that can favor the development of biolinguistics as a fruitful discipline.

Keywords: faculty of language; innateness; computation; grammar; biolinguistics; sociolinguistics; cultural linguistics

Chapter.  11890 words. 

Subjects: Psycholinguistics

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