Abstract

In recent years linguists have gained new insight into human language capacities on the basis of results from linguistics and biology. The so-called biolinguistic enterprise aims to fill in the explanatory gap between language and biology, on both theoretical and experimental grounds, hoping to reach a deeper understanding of language as a phenomenon rooted in biology. This research program is taking its first steps, and it has already given rise to new insights on the human language capacity, as well as to controversies, echoing debates that go back to the earlier days of generative grammar. The present discussion piece provides a high-level characterization of biolinguistics. It highlights the main articulation of this research program and points to recent studies linking language and biology. It also compares the biolinguistic program, as defined in Chomsky 2005 and Di Sciullo & Boeckx 2011, to the view of the human language faculty presented in Jackendoff 2002 and Culicover & Jackendoff 2005, and to the discussion in Jackendoff 2011.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. e205-e236
Launched on MUSE
2016-09-09
Open Access
No
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