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Pirahã Culture and Grammar: A Response to Some Criticisms

From: Language
Volume 85, Number 2, June 2009
pp. 405-442 | 10.1353/lan.0.0104



This article responds to criticisms of the proposals of Everett 2005 by Nevins, Pesetsky, and Rodrigues (2009, this issue). It argues that their criticisms are unfounded and that Pirahã grammar and culture are accurately described in Everett 2005. The article also offers more detailed argumentation for the hypothesis that culture can exert an architectonic effect on grammar. It concludes that Pirahã falsifies the single prediction made by Hauser, Chomsky, and Fitch (2002) that recursion is the essential property of human language.