Abstract

In addition to providing an account of the empirical facts of language, a theory that aspires to account for language as a biologically based human faculty should seek a graceful integration of linguistic phenomena with what is known about other human cognitive capacities and about the character of brain computation. The present discussion note compares the theoretical stance of biolinguistics (Chomsky 2005, Di Sciullo & Boeckx 2011) with a constraint-based PARALLEL ARCHITECTURE approach to the language faculty (Jackendoff 2002, Culicover & Jackendoff 2005). The issues considered include the necessity of redundancy in the lexicon and the rule system, the ubiquity of recursion in cognition, derivational vs. constraint-based formalisms, the relation between lexical items and grammatical rules, the roles of phonology and semantics in the grammar, the combinatorial character of thought in humans and nonhumans, the interfaces between language, thought, and vision, and the possible course of evolution of the language faculty. In each of these areas, the parallel architecture offers a superior account both of the linguistic facts and of the relation of language to the rest of the mind/brain.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 586-624
Launched on MUSE
2011-09-14
Open Access
No
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