Of Minds and Language: A Dialogue with Noam Chomsky in the Basque Country

Of Minds and Language: A Dialogue with Noam Chomsky in the Basque Country


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199544677
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 01/14/2011
Pages: 472
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini is Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Arizona. He has held teaching and research positions at the Scientific Institute San Raffaele, MIT, the College de France, Rutgers University, Harvard University, the University of Maryland and the University of Bologna. His publications include Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule our Minds , Choix, decisions et preferences: Quatre lecons au College de France, L'illusione di sapere, and L'arte di persuadere (Mondadori 1993, 1995).
Pello Salaburu is Professor of Basque Philology at the University of the Basque Country where he was President 1996-2000 and Vice President 1992-1996. He is Chair of the Grammar Commission of Euskaltzaindia (Royal Academy of the Basque Language), and a co-editor and co-author of Euskal Gramatika. Lehen Urratsak .
Juan Uriagereka is Professor of Linguistics, University of Maryland. His books include Syntactic Anchors (CUP 2006), Derivations and Rhyme and Reason.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
Part 1: Overtures
2. Opening Remarks, Noam Chomsky
3. The nature of Merge: Consequences for Language, Mind, and Biology, Cedric Boeckx
4. Evoling: The Nature of the Language Faculty, Marc D. Hauser
5. The Foundational Abstractions, C. R. Gallistel
6. Pointers to a Biology of Language?, Gabriel Dover
7. Language in an Epigenetic Framework, Donata Vercelli
8. Brain Wiring Optimization and Non-Genomic Nativism, Christopher Cherniak
Part 2: On Language
9. Hierarchy, Merge, and Truth, Wolfram Hinzen
10. Two Interfaces, James Higginbotham
11. Movement and Concepts of Locality, Luigi Rizzi
12. Uninterpretable Features in Syntactic Evolutiion, Juan Uriagereka
13. The Brain Differentiates Hierarchical and Probabilistic Grammars, Angela D. Friederici
14. Round Table: Language Universals: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, Cedric Boeckz, Janet Dean Fodor, Lila Gleitman, Luigi Rizzi
Part 3: On Acquisition
15. Innate Learning and Beyond, Rochel Gelman
16. The Learned Component of Language Learning, Lila Gleitman
17. Syntactic Acquisition: An Evaluation Measure After All?, Janet Dean Fodor
18. Remarks on the Individual Basis for Linguistic Structures, Thomas G. Bever
Part 4: Open Talks on Open Inquiries
19. The Illusion of Biological variation: A Minimalist Approach to the Mind, Marc D. Hauser
20. What is There in Universal Grammar? On Innate and Specific Aspects of Language, Itziar Laka
21. Individual Differences in Foreigh Sound Perception, Núria Sebastián-Gallés
22. Language and the Brain, Angela D. Friederici
23. Conclusion, Noam Chomsky

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