Whether all human languages are fundamentally the same or different has been a subject of debate for ages. This problem has deep philosophical implications: If languages are all the same, it implies a fundamental commonality--and thus mutual intelligibility--of human thought.We are now on the verge of solving this problem. Using a twenty-year-old theory proposed by the world's greatest living linguist, Noam Chomsky, researchers have found that the similarities among languages are more profound than the differences. Languages whose grammars seem completely incompatible may in fact be structurally almost identical, except for a difference in one simple rule. The discovery of these rules and how they may vary promises to yield a linguistic equivalent of the Periodic Table of the Elements: a single framework by which we can understand the fundamental structure of all human language. This is a landmark breakthrough both within linguistics, which will herewith finally become a full-fledged science, and in our understanding of the human mind.
Whether all human languages are fundamentally the same or different has been a subject of debate for ages. This problem has deep philosophical implications: If languages are all the same, it implies a fundamental commonality-and thus the mutual intelligibility-of human thought. We are now on the verge of answering this question. Using a twenty-year-old theory proposed by the world's greatest living linguist, Noam Chomsky, researchers have found that the similarities among languages are more profound than the differences. Languages whose grammars seem completely incompatible may in fact be structurally almost identical, except for a difference in one simple rule. The discovery of these rules and how they may vary promises to yield a linguistic equivalent of the Periodic Table of the Elements: a single framework by which we can understand the fundamental structure of all human language. This is a landmark breakthrough, both within linguistics, which will thereby become a full-fledged science for the first time, and in our understanding of the human mind.
Most living forms in nature display various cognitive abilities in their behaviour. However, except for humans, no other animal builds fires and wheels, navigates with maps and tells stories to other conspecifics. We can witness this unique feature of the human mind in almost everything humans do, such as painting, singing and cooking; there is an underlying sense of unity in the generative part of these systems despite wide differences in what they are about. This book introduces, defends and develops a novel philosophical approach to the study of the generative mind. Nirmalangshu Mukherji argues for a single, species-specific generative principle that accounts for the human ability to combine symbolic forms without bound in each domain that falls under the generative mind.
This book presents a state-of-the-art account of what we know and would like to know about language, mind, and brain. Chapters by leading researchers in linguistics, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, cognitive neuroscience, comparative cognitive psychology, and evolutionary biology are framed by an introduction and conclusion by Noam Chomsky, who places the biolinguistic enterprise in an historical context and helps define its agenda for the future. The questions explored include: What is our tacit knowledge of language? What is the faculty of language? How does it develop in the individual? How is that knowledge put to use? How is it implemented in the brain? How did that knowledge emerge in the species? The book includes the contributor's key discussions, which dramatically bring to life their enthusiasm for the enterprise and skill in communicating across disciplines. Everyone seriously interested in how language works and why it works the way it does are certain to find, if not all the answers, then a convincing, productive, and lively approach to the endeavour.
The big question of how and why mindedness evolved necessitates collaborative, multidisciplinary investigation. Biosemiotics provides a new conceptual space that attracts a multitude of thinkers in the biological and cognitive sciences and the humanities who recognize continuity in the biosphere from the simplest to the most complex organisms, and who are united in the project of trying to account for even language and human consciousness in this comprehensive picture of life. The young interdiscipline of biosemiotics has so far by and large focused on codes, signs and sign processes in the microworld—a fact that reflects the field’s strong representation in microbiology and embryology. What philosophers of mind and cognitive scientists can contribute to the growing interdiscipline are insights into how the biosemiotic weltanschauung applies to complex organisms like humans where such signs and sign processes constitute human society and culture.
This is the first volume of a projected three-volume set on the subject of innateness. The extent to which the mind is innate is one of the central questions in the human sciences, with important implications for many surrounding debates. By bringing together the top nativist scholars in philosophy, psychology, and allied disciplines these volumes provide a comprehensive assessment of nativist thought and a definitive reference point for future nativist inquiry. The Innate Mind: Structure and Content, concerns the fundamental architecture of the mind, addressing such question as: What capacities, processes, representations, biases, and connections are innate? How do these innate elements feed into a story about the development of our mature cognitive capacities, and which of them are shared with other members of the animal kingdom? The editors have provided an introduction giving some of the background to debates about innateness and introducing each of the subsequent essays, as well as a consolidated bibliography that will be a valuable reference resource for all those interested in this area. The volume will be of great importance to all researchers and students interested in the fundamental nature and powers of the human mind. Together, the three volumes in the series will provide the most intensive and richly cross-disciplinary investigation of nativism ever undertaken. They point the way toward a synthesis of nativist work that promises to provide a new understanding of our minds and their place in the natural order.
This handbook provides a comprehensive survey of what is now known about psychological development, from birth to biological maturity, and it highlights how cultural, social, cognitive, neural, and molecular processes work together to yield human behavior and changes in human behavior.
Assuming no prior knowledge of linguistics, AN INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE, Tenth Edition, is appropriate for a variety of fields--including education, languages, psychology, cognitive science, anthropology, English, and teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)--at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This completely updated edition retains the clear descriptions, humor, and seamless pedagogy that have made the book a perennial best-seller, while adding new information and exercises that render each topic fresh, engaging, and current. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
AN INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE, 11th Edition, offers an up-to-date look at language studies and linguistics in today's world. This product is fresh and modern, and includes new developments in linguistics and related fields that strengthen its appeal to a wider audience. At the same time, it maintains the acclaimed light, friendly, readable style and the breadth of coverage that have made it a perennial best seller. The authors examine grammatical subjects (e.g., morphology, syntax, semantics, phonetics, phonology), childhood language development and adult secondary language acquisition, and the tremendous leap in knowledge achieved in neurolinguistics. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
An Introduction to Language introduces students to the fascinating study of human language. Engagingly and clearly written, it provides an overview of the key areas of linguistics from an Australian perspective. The International Phonetic Alphabet is represented by both HCE and MD versions, allowing lecturers to use whichever IPA system they prefer. The text is divided into four sections, and chapters take students through the nature of human language, the grammatical aspects and psychology of language, finishing with language and its relation to society. Chapters have also been reworked and revised to keep all syntax up-to-date and accurate. Popular features have been retained for this ninth edition including learning objectives and margin definitions in each chapter, along with summary tables inside the covers, assisting readers to learn core concepts and terminology. To supplement student learning, An Introduction to Language continues to offer the strongest resources package in the market, giving students access to CourseMate Express with interactive audio phonemes, as well as offering a new Test Bank for instructors.