Skip to main content
×
Home

Language as shaped by the brain

  • Morten H. Christiansen (a1) and Nick Chater (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

It is widely assumed that human learning and the structure of human languages are intimately related. This relationship is frequently suggested to derive from a language-specific biological endowment, which encodes universal, but communicatively arbitrary, principles of language structure (a Universal Grammar or UG). How might such a UG have evolved? We argue that UG could not have arisen either by biological adaptation or non-adaptationist genetic processes, resulting in a logical problem of language evolution. Specifically, as the processes of language change are much more rapid than processes of genetic change, language constitutes a “moving target” both over time and across different human populations, and, hence, cannot provide a stable environment to which language genes could have adapted. We conclude that a biologically determined UG is not evolutionarily viable. Instead, the original motivation for UG – the mesh between learners and languages – arises because language has been shaped to fit the human brain, rather than vice versa. Following Darwin, we view language itself as a complex and interdependent “organism,” which evolves under selectional pressures from human learning and processing mechanisms. That is, languages themselves are shaped by severe selectional pressure from each generation of language users and learners. This suggests that apparently arbitrary aspects of linguistic structure may result from general learning and processing biases deriving from the structure of thought processes, perceptuo-motor factors, cognitive limitations, and pragmatics.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Abzhanov A., Kuo W. P., Hartmann C., Grant B. R., Grant P. R. & Tabin C. J. (2006) The calmodulin pathway and evolution of elongated beak morphology in Darwin's finches. Nature 442:563–67.
Abzhanov A., Protas M., Grant B. R., Grant P. R. & Tabin C. J. (2004) Bmp4 and morphological variation of beaks in Darwin's finches. Science 305:1462–65.
Alter S. (1998) Darwinism and the linguistic image: Language, race, and natural theology in the nineteenth century. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Andersen H. (1973) Abductive and deductive change. Language 40:765–93.
Arbib M. A. (2005) From monkey-like action recognition to human language: An evolutionary framework for neurolinguistics. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28(2):105–24.
Baker C. L. & McCarthy J. J., eds. (1981) The logical problem of language acquisition. MIT Press.
Baker M. C. (2001) The atoms of language: The mind's hidden rules of grammar. Basic Books.
Baker M. C. (2003) Language differences and language design. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7:349–53.
Baldwin J. M. (1896) A new factor in evolution. American Naturalist 30:441–51.
Batali J. (1998) Computational simulations of the emergence of grammar. In: Approaches to the evolution of language: Social and cognitive bases, ed. Hurford J. R., Studdert Kennedy M. & Knight C., pp. 405–26. Cambridge University Press.
Bates E. & MacWhinney B. (1979) A functionalist approach to the acquisition of grammar. In: Developmental pragmatics, ed. Ochs E. & Schieffelin B., pp. 167209. Academic Press.
Bates E. & MacWhinney B. (1987) Competition, variation, and language learning. In: Mechanisms of language acquisition, ed. MacWhinney B., pp. 157–93. Erlbaum.
Beer G. (1996) Darwin and the growth of language theory. In: Open fields: Science in cultural encounter, by Beer G., pp. 95114. Oxford University Press.
Beja-Pereira A., Luikart G., England P. R., Bradley D. G., Jann O. C., Bertorelle G., Chamberlain A. T., Nunes T. P., Metodiev S., Ferrand N. & Erhardt G. (2003) Gene-culture coevolution between cattle milk protein genes and human lactase genes. Nature Genetics 35:311–13.
Berwick R. C. & Weinberg A. S. (1984) The grammatical basis of linguistic performance: Language use and acquisition. MIT Press.
Bever T. G. (1970) The cognitive basis for linguistic structures. In: Cognition and language development, ed. Hayes R., pp. 277360. Wiley.
Bever T. G. & Langendoen D. T. (1971) A dynamic model of the evolution of language. Linguistic Inquiry 2:433–63.
Bickerton D. (1984) The language bio-program hypothesis. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 7:173212.
Bickerton D. (1995) Language and human behavior. University of Washington Press.
Bickerton D. (2003) Symbol and structure: A comprehensive framework for language evolution. In: Language evolution, ed. Christiansen M. H. & Kirby S., pp. 7793. Oxford University Press.
Blackburn S. (1984) Spreading the word. Oxford University Press.
Blackmore S. J. (1999) The meme machine. Oxford University Press.
Bloom P. (2001) Précis of How children learn the meanings of words. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24(6):1095–103.
Boeckx C. (2006) Linguistic minimalism: Origins, concepts, methods, and aims. Oxford University Press.
Borer H. (1984) Parametric syntax: Case studies in Semitic and Romance languages. Foris.
Boyd R. & Richerson P. J. (2005) The origin and evolution of cultures. Oxford University Press.
Bresnan J. (1982) The mental representation of grammatical relations. MIT Press.
Briscoe E. J. (2003) Grammatical assimilation. In: Language evolution, ed. Christiansen M. H. & Kirby S., pp. 295316. Oxford University Press.
Brooks P. J., Braine M. D. S., Catalano L., Brody R. E. & Sudhalter V. (1993) Acquisition of gender-like noun subclasses in an artificial language: The contribution of phonological markers to learning. Journal of Memory and Language 32:7695.
Bybee J. L. (2002) Sequentiality as the basis of constituent structure. In: The evolution of language out of pre-language, ed. Givón T. & Malle B., pp. 107–32. John Benjamins.
Bybee J. L. (2007) Frequency of use and the organization of language. Oxford University Press.
Bybee J. L. (in press) Language universals and usage-based theory. In: Language universals, ed. Christiansen M. H., Collins C. & Edelman S.. Oxford University Press.
Bybee J. L., Perkins R. D. & Pagliuca W. (1994) The evolution of grammar: Tense, aspect and modality in the languages of the world. University of Chicago Press.
Calvin W. H. (1994) The emergence of intelligence. Scientific American 271:100107.
Campbell D. T. (1965) Variation and selective retention in socio-cultural evolution. In: Social change in developing areas: A reinterpretation of evolutionary theory, ed. Barringer H. R., Blanksten G. I. & Mack R. W., pp. 1949. Schenkman.
Cannon G. (1991) Jones's “Spring from some common source”: 1786–1986. In: Sprung from some common source: Investigations into the pre-history of languages, ed. Lamb S. M. & Mitchell E. D.. Stanford University Press.
Cavalli-Sforza L. L. & Feldman M. W. (2003) The application of molecular genetic approaches to the study of human evolution. Nature Genetics 33:266–75.
Chater N. (2005) Mendelian and Darwinian views of memes and cultural change. In: Perspectives on imitation: From neuroscience to social science, vol. 2, ed. Hurley S. & Chater N., pp. 355–62. MIT Press.
Chater N. & Vitányi P. (2007) “Ideal learning” of natural language: Positive results about learning from positive evidence. Journal of Mathematical Psychology 51:135–63.
Chomsky N. (1965) Aspects of the theory of syntax. MIT Press.
Chomsky N. (1972) Language and mind, Extended edition. Harcourt, Brace and World.
Chomsky N. (1980) Rules and representations. Columbia University Press/Blackwell.
Chomsky N. (1981) Lectures on government and binding. Foris.
Chomsky N. (1986) Knowledge of language. Praeger.
Chomsky N. (1988) Language and the problems of knowledge. The Managua Lectures. MIT Press.
Chomsky N. (1993) Language and thought. Moyer Bell.
Chomsky N. (1995) The minimalist program. MIT Press.
Chomsky N. (2005b) Three factors in language design. Linguistic Inquiry 36:122.
Christiansen M. H. (1994) Infinite languages, finite minds: Connectionism, learning and linguistic structure. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Centre for Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Christiansen M. H. (2000) Using artificial language learning to study language evolution: Exploring the emergence of word universals. In: The evolution of language: 3rd international conference, ed. Dessalles J. L. & Ghadakpour L., pp. 4548. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications.
Christiansen M. H., Collins C. & Edelman S., eds. (in press) Language universals. Oxford University Press.
Christiansen M. H., Conway C. M. & Onnis L. (2007) Overlapping neural responses to structural incongruencies in language and statistical learning point to similar underlying mechanisms. In: Proceedings of the 29th Annual Cognitive Science Society Conference, ed. MacNamara D. S. & Trafton J. G., pp. 173–78. Erlbaum.
Christiansen M. H. & Dale R. (2004) The role of learning and development in the evolution of language. A connectionist perspective. In: Evolution of communication systems: A comparative approach. The Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology, ed. Kimbrough Oller D. & Griebel U., pp. 90109. MIT Press.
Christiansen M. H. & Devlin J. T. (1997) Recursive inconsistencies are hard to learn: A connectionist perspective on universal word order correlations. In: Proceedings of the 19th Annual Cognitive Science Society Conference, ed. Shafto M. G. & Langley P., pp. 113–18. Erlbaum.
Christiansen M. H., Kelly L., Shillcock R. & Greenfield K. (submitted) Impaired artificial grammar learning in agrammatism.
Christiansen M. H., Reali F. & Chater N. (2006) The Baldwin effect works for functional, but not arbitrary, features of language. In: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on the Evolution of Language, ed. Cangelosi A., Smith A. & Smith K., pp. 2734. World Scientific.
Clark H. H. (1975) Bridging. In: Theoretical issues in natural language processing, ed. Schank R. C. & Nash-Webber B. L., pp. 169–74. Association for Computing Machinery.
Conway C. M. & Christiansen M. H. (2001) Sequential learning in non-human primates. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 5:539–46.
Conway C. M., Karpicke J. & Pisoni D. B. (2007) Contribution of implicit sequence learning to spoken language processing: Some preliminary findings with hearing adults. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 12:317–34.
Corballis M. C. (1992) On the evolution of language and generativity. Cognition 44:197226.
Corballis M. C. (2003) From hand to mouth: The gestural origins of language. In: Language evolution, ed. Christiansen M. H. & Kirby S., pp. 201–18. Oxford University Press.
Cornish H. (2006) Iterated learning with human subjects: An empirical framework for the emergence and cultural transmission of language. Unpublished Masters thesis, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Crain S. (1991) Language acquisition in the absence of experience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14:597650.
Crain S., Goro T. & Thornton R. (2006) Language acquisition is language change. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 35:3149.
Crain S. & Pietroski P. (2001) Nature, nurture and universal grammar. Linguistics and Philosophy 24:139–85.
Crain S. & Pietroski P. (2006) Is Generative Grammar deceptively simple or simply deceptive? Lingua 116:6468.
Croft W. (2000) Explaining language change: An evolutionary approach. Longman.
Croft W. (2001) Radical construction grammar: Syntactic theory in typological perspective. Oxford University Press.
Croft W. & Cruise D. A. (2004) Cognitive linguistics. Cambridge University Press.
Culicover P. W. (1999) Syntactic nuts. Oxford University Press.
Culicover P. W. & Jackendoff R. (2005) Simpler syntax. Oxford University Press.
Curtin S., Mintz T. H. & Christiansen M. H. (2005) Stress changes the representational landscape: Evidence from word segmentation. Cognition 96:233–62.
Cutler A., Mehler J., Norris D. & Segui J. (1986) The syllable's differing role in the segmentation of French and English. Journal of Memory and Language 25:385400.
Dabrowska E. (1997) The LAD goes to school: A cautionary tale for nativists. Linguistics 35:735–66.
Darwin C. (1874) The descent of man and selection in relation to sex, 2nd edition.John Murray.
Davidson I. (2003) The archaeological evidence of language origins: States of art. In: Language evolution, ed. Christiansen M. H. & Kirby S., pp. 140–57. Oxford University Press.
Davies A. M. (1987) “Organic” and “Organism” in Franz Bopp. In: Biological metaphor and cladistic classification, ed. Bopp Franz. In: 81107. University of Pennsylvania Press.
Dawkins R. (1976) The selfish gene. Oxford University Press.
Dawkins R. (1986) The blind watchmaker: Why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design. Penguin.
Deacon T. W. (1997) The symbolic species: The co-evolution of language and the brain. W. W. Norton/Penguin.
Dediu D. & Ladd D. R. (2007) Linguistic tone is related to the population frequency of the adaptive haplogroups of two brain size genes. ASPM and microcephalin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 104:10944–49.
Dennett D. C. (1995) Darwin's dangerous idea: Evolution and the meanings of life. Penguin/Simon & Schuster.
de Vries M., Monaghan P., Knecht S., & Zwitserlood P. (in press) Syntactic structure and artificial grammar learning: The learnability of embedded hierarchical structures. Cognition.
Diamond J. (1992) The third chimpanzee: The evolution and future of the human animal. Harper Collins.
Diamond J. (1997) Guns, germs, and steel: The fates of human societies. Harper Collins.
Donald M. (1998) Mimesis and the executive suite: Missing links in language evolution. In: Approaches to the evolution of language, ed. Hurford J. R., Studdert-Kennedy M. & Knight C., pp. 4467. Cambridge University Press.
Dryer M. S. (1992) The Greenbergian word order correlations. Language 68:81138.
Dunbar R. I. M. (2003) The origin and subsequent evolution of language. In: Language evolution, ed. Christiansen M. H. & Kirby S., pp. 219–34. Oxford University Press.
Ellefson M. R. & Christiansen M. H. (2000) Subjacency constraints without universal grammar: Evidence from artificial language learning and connectionist modeling. In: The Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Cognitive Science Society Conference, ed. Gleitman L. R. & Joshi A. K., pp. 645–50. Erlbaum.
Elman J. L. (1999) Origins of language: A conspiracy theory. In: The emergence of language, ed. MacWhinney B.. Erlbaum.
Elman J. L., Bates E. A., Johnson M. H., Karmiloff-Smith A., Parisi D. & Plunkett K. (1996) Rethinking innateness: A connectionist perspective on development. MIT Press.
Emlen S. T. (1970) Celestial rotation: Its importance in the development of migratory orientation. Science 170:11981201.
Enard W., Przeworski M., Fisher S. E., Lai C. S. L., Wiebe V., Kitano T., Monaco A. P. & Pääbo S. (2002) Molecular evolution of FOXP2, a gene involved in speech and language. Nature 418:869–72.
Everett D. L. (2005) Cultural constraints on grammar and cognition in Pirahã. Current Anthropology 46:621–46.
Everett D. L. (2007) Cultural constraints on grammar in Pirahã: A Reply to Nevins, Pesetsky, and Rodrigues (2007). (Online publication). Available at http://ling.auf.net/lingBuzz/000427://ling.auf.net/lingBuzz/000427.
Farmer T. A., Christiansen M. H. & Monaghan P. (2006) Phonological typicality influences on-line sentence comprehension. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 103:12203–208.
Fisher S. E. (2006) Tangled webs: Tracing the connections between genes and cognition. Cognition 101:270–97.
Fitneva S. A. & Spivey M. J. (2004) Context and language processing: The effect of authorship. In: Approaches to studying world-situated language use: Bridging the language-as-product and language-as-action traditions, ed. Trueswell J. C. & Tanenhaus M. K., pp. 317–28. MIT Press.
Fleischman S. (1982) The future in thought and language: Diachronic evidence from Romance. Cambridge University Press.
Fodor J. A. (1975) The language of thought. Harvard University Press.
Frean M. R. & Abraham E. R. (2004) Adaptation and enslavement in endosymbiont-host associations. Physical Review E 69:051913.
Friederici A. D., Bahlmann J., Heim S., Schibotz R. I. & Anwander A. (2006) The brain differentiates human and non-human grammars: Functional localization and structural connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 103:2458–63.
Friederici A. D., Steinhauer K. & Pfeifer E. (2002) Brain signatures of artificial language processing: Evidence challenging the critical period hypothesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 99:529–34.
Frigo L. & McDonald J. L. (1998) Properties of phonological markers that affect the acquisition of gender-like subclasses. Journal of Memory and Language 39:218–45.
Gerhart J. & Kirschner M. (1997) Cells, embryos and evolution: Toward a cellular and developmental understanding of phenotypic variation and evolutionary adaptability. Blackwell.
Givón T. (1979) On understanding grammar. Academic Press.
Givón T. (1998) On the co-evolution of language, mind and brain. Evolution of Communication 2:45116.
Givón T. & Malle B. F., eds. (2002) The evolution of language out of pre-language. John Benjamins.
Gold E. (1967) Language identification in the limit. Information and Control 16:447–74.
Goldberg A. E. (2006) Constructions at work: The nature of generalization in language. Oxford University Press.
Goldsby R. A., Kindt T. K., Osborne B. A. & Kuby J. (2003) Immunology, 5th edition.W. H. Freeman.
Golinkoff R. M., Hirsh-Pasek K., Bloom L., Smith L., Woodward A., Akhtar N., Tomasello M. & Hollich G., eds. (2000) Becoming a word learner: A debate on lexical acquisition. Oxford University Press.
Gómez R. L. (2002) Variability and detection of invariant structure. Psychological Science 13:431–36.
Gómez R. L. & Gerken L. A. (2000) Infant artificial language learning and language acquisition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4:178–86.
Gould S. J. (1993) Eight little piggies: Reflections in natural history. Norton.
Gould S. J. (2002) The structure of evolutionary theory. Harvard University Press.
Gould S. J. & Lewontin R. C. (1979) The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian paradigm: A critique of the adaptationist programme. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (Series B) 205:581–98.
Gould S. J. & Vrba E. S. (1982) Exaptation – A missing term in the science of form. Paleobiology 8:415.
Gray R. D. & Atkinson Q. D. (2003) Language-tree divergence times support the Anatolian theory of Indo-European origin. Nature 426:435–39.
Green T. R. G. (1979) Necessity of syntax markers: Two experiments with artificial languages. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 18:481–96.
Greenfield P. M. (1991) Language, tools, and the brain: The ontogeny and phylogeny of hierarchically organized sequential behavior. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14(4):531–95.
Grice H. P. (1967) Logic and conversation. William James Lectures. Manuscript, Harvard University.
Gruber O. (2002) The co-evolution of language and working memory capacity in the human brain. In: Mirror neurons and the evolution of brain and language, ed. Stamenov M. I. & Gallese V., pp. 7786. John Benjamins.
Haber R. N. (1983) The impending demise of the icon: The role of iconic processes in information processing theories of perception (with commentaries). Behavioral and Brain Sciences 6:155.
Hamilton W. D. (1964) The genetical evolution of social behaviour. Journal of Theoretical Biology 7:152.
Hampe B., ed. (2006) From perception to meaning: Image schemas in cognitive linguistics. Mouton de Gruyter.
Hare M. & Elman J. L. (1995) Learning and morphological change. Cognition 56:6198.
Hauser M. D. (2001) Wild minds: What animals really think. Owl Books.
Hauser M. D., Chomsky N. & Fitch W. T. (2002) The faculty of language: What is it, who has it, and how did it evolve? Science 298(5598):1569–79.
Hauser M. D. & Fitch W. T. (2003) What are the uniquely human components of the language faculty? in: Language evolution, ed. Christiansen M. H. & Kirby S., pp. 158–81. Oxford University Press.
Hawkins J. A. (1994) A performance theory of order and constituency. Cambridge University Press.
Hawkins J. A. (2004) Efficiency and complexity in grammars. Oxford University Press.
Hawks J. D., Hunley K., Lee S-H. & Wolpoff M. (2000) Population bottlenecks and Pleistocene human evolution. Molecular Biology and Evolution 17:222.
Hecht Orzak S. & Sober E., eds. (2001) Adaptationism and optimality. Cambridge University Press.
Heine B. (1991) Grammaticalization. University of Chicago Press.
Heine B. & Kuteva T. (2002) On the evolution of grammatical forms. In: Transitions to language, ed. Wray A., pp. 376–97. Oxford University Press.
Hinton G. E. & Nowlan S. J. (1987) How learning can guide evolution. Complex Systems 1:495502.
Hoen M., Golembiowski M., Guyot E., Deprez V., Caplan D. & Dominey P. F. (2003) Training with cognitive sequences improves syntactic comprehension in agrammatic aphasics. NeuroReport 14: 495–99.
Hopper P. & Traugott E. (1993) Grammaticalization. Cambridge University Press.
Hornstein N. (2001) Move! A minimalist approach to construal. Blackwell.
Hornstein N. & Boeckx C. (in press) Approaching universals from below: I-Universals in light of a minimalist program for linguistic theory. In: Language universals, ed. Christiansen M. H., Collins C. & Edelman S.. Oxford University Press.
Hornstein N. & Lightfoot D., eds. (1981) Explanations in linguistics: The logical problem of language acquisition. Longman.
Hsu H.-J., Christiansen M. H., Tomblin J. B., Zhang X. & Gómez R. L. (2006) Statistical learning of nonadjacent dependencies in adolescents with and without language impairment. Poster presented at the 2006 Symposium on Research in Child Language DisordersMadison, WI.
Huang Y. (2000) Anaphora: A cross-linguistic study. Oxford University Press.
Hudson Kam C. L. & Newport E. L. (2005) Regularizing unpredictable variation: The roles of adult and child learners in language formation and change. Language Learning and Development 1:151–95.
Hurford J. R. (1990) Nativist and functional explanations in language acquisition. In: Logical issues in language acquisition, ed. Roca I. M., pp. 85136. Foris.
Hurford J. R. (1991) The evolution of the critical period for language learning. Cognition 40:159201.
Hurford J. R. (2003) The language mosaic and its evolution. In: Language evolution, ed. Christiansen M. H. & Kirby S., pp. 3857. Oxford University Press.
Hurford J. R. & Kirby S. (1999) Co-evolution of language size and the critical period in: Second language acquisition and the critical period hypothesis, ed. Birdsong D., pp. 3963. Erlbaum.
Jablonka E. & Lamb M. J. (1989) The inheritance of acquired epigenetic variations. Journal of Theoretical Biology 139:6983.
Jackendoff R. (2002) Foundations of language: Brain, meaning, grammar, evolution. Oxford University Press.
Jain S., Osherson D., Royer J. & Sharma A. (1999) Systems that learn, 2nd edition.MIT Press.
Jenkins L. (2000) Biolinguistics: Exploring the biology of language. Cambridge University Press.
Johansson S. (2006) Working backwards from modern language to proto-grammar. In: The evolution of language, ed. Cangelosi A., Smith A. D. M. & Smith K., pp. 160–67. World Scientific.
Juliano C. & Tanenhaus M. K. (1994) A constraint-based lexicalist account of the subject/object attachment preference. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 23:459–71.
Kamide Y., Altmann G. T. M. & Haywood S. (2003) The time-course of prediction in incremental sentence processing: Evidence from anticipatory eye-movements. Journal of Memory and Language 49:133–59.
Kaschak M. P. & Glenberg A. M. (2004) This construction needs learned. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 133:450–67.
Kauffman S. A. (1995) The origins of order: Self-organization and selection in evolution. Oxford University Press.
Keller R. (1994) On language change: The invisible hand in language. Routledge.
Kirby S. (1998) Fitness and the selective adaptation of language. In: Approaches to the evolution of language: Social and cognitive bases, ed. Hurford J. R., Studdert-Kennedy M. & Knight C., pp. 359–83. Cambridge University Press.
Kirby S. (1999) Function, selection and innateness: The emergence of language universals. Oxford University Press.
Kirby S., Dowman M. & Griffiths T. (2007) Innateness and culture in the evolution of language. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 104:5241–45.
Kirby S. & Hurford J. (1997) Learning, culture and evolution in the origin of linguistic constraints. In: ECAL97, ed. Husbands P. & Harvey I., pp. 493502. MIT Press.
Kirby S. & Hurford J. (2002) The emergence of linguistic structure: An overview of the iterated learning model. In: Simulating the evolution of language, ed. Cangelosi A. & Parisi D., pp. 121–48. Springer Verlag.
Kuhl P. K. (1987) The special mechanisms debate in speech research: Categorization tests on animals and infants. In: Categorical perception: The groundwork of cognition, ed. Harnad S., pp. 355–86. Cambridge University Press.
Kvasnicka V. & Pospichal J. (1999) An emergence of coordinated communication in populations of agents. Artificial Life 5:318–42.
Lai C. S. L., Fisher S. E., Hurst J. A., Vargha-Khadem F. & Monaco A. P. (2001) A forkhead-domain gene is mutated in a severe speech and language disorder. Nature 413:519–23.
Lai C. S. L., Gerrelli D., Monaco A. P., Fisher S. E. & Copp A. J. (2003) FOXP2 expression during brain development coincides with adult sites of pathology in a severe speech and language disorder. Brain 126:2455–62.
Lakoff G. & Johnson M. (1980) Metaphors we live by. University of Chicago Press.
Lanyon S. J. (2006) A saltationist approach for the evolution of human cognition and language. In: The evolution of language, ed. Cangelosi A., Smith A. D. M. & Smith K., pp. 176–83. World Scientific.
Lashley K. S. (1951) The problem of serial order in behavior. In: Cerebral mechanisms in behavior, ed. Jeffress L. A., pp. 112–46. Wiley.
Laubichler M. D. & Maienschein J., eds. (2007) From embryology to evo-devo: A history of developmental evolution. MIT Press.
Levinson S. C. (1987a). Pragmatics and the grammar of anaphora: A partial pragmatic reduction of binding and control phenomena. Journal of Linguistics 23:379434.
Levinson S. C. (1987b) Minimization and conversational inference. In: The pragmatic perspective: Proceedings of the International Conference on Pragmatics at Viareggio, ed. Papi M. & Verschueren J., pp. 61129. John Benjamins.
Levinson S. C. (2000) Presumptive meanings: The theory of generalized conversational implicature. MIT Press.
Lewontin R. C. (1998) The evolution of cognition: Questions we will never answer. In: An invitation to cognitive science, vol. 4: Methods, models, and conceptual issues, ed. Scarborough D. & Sternberg S.. MIT Press.
Li M. & Vitányi P. (1997) An introduction to Kolmogorov complexity theory and its applications, 2nd edition.Springer.
Lieberman P. (1984) The biology and evolution of language. Harvard University Press.
Lieberman P. (1991) Speech and brain evolution. Behavioral and Brain Science 14:566–68.
Lieberman P. (2003) Motor control, speech, and the evolution of human language. In: Language evolution, ed. Christiansen M. H. & Kirby S., pp. 255–71. Oxford University Press.
Lightfoot D. (2000) The spandrels of the linguistic genotype. In: The evolutionary emergence of language: Social function and the origins of linguistic form, ed. Knight C., Studdert-Kennedy M. & Hurford J. R., pp. 231–47. Cambridge University Press.
Lively S. E., Pisoni D. B. & Goldinger S. D. (1994) Spoken word recognition. In: Handbook of psycholinguistics, ed. Gernsbacher M. A., pp. 265318. Academic Press.
Livingstone D. & Fyfe C. (2000) Modelling language-physiology coevolution. In: The emergence of language: Social function and the origins of linguistic form, ed. Knight C., Studdert-Kennedy M. & Hurford J. R., pp. 199215. Cambridge University Press.
Locke J. L. & Bogin B. (2006) Language and life history: A new perspective on the development and evolution of human language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29:259–80.
Lupyan G. & Christiansen M. H. (2002) Case, word order, and language learnability: Insights from connectionist modeling. In: Proceedings of the 24th Annual Cognitive Science Society Conference, ed. Gray W. D. & Schunn C. D., pp. 596601. Erlbaum.
MacDermot K. D., Bonora E., Sykes N., Coupe A. M., Lai C. S. L., Vernes S. C., Vargha-Khadem F., McKenzie F., Smith R. L., Monaco A. P. & Fisher S. E. (2005) Identification of FOXP2 truncation as a novel cause of developmental speech and language deficits. American Journal of Human Genetics 76:1074–80.
MacDonald M. C. & Christiansen M. H. (2002) Reassessing working memory: A comment on Just and Carpenter (1992) and Waters and Caplan (1996). Psychological Review 109:3554.
MacDonald M. C., Pearlmutter N. J. & Seidenberg M. S. (1994) The lexical nature of syntactic ambiguity resolution. Psychological Review 101:676703.
Mackay D. J. C. (2003) Information theory, inference, and learning algorithms. Cambridge University Press.
MacNeilage P. F. (1998) The frame/content theory of evolution of speech production. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21:499511.
MacWhinney B., ed. (1999) The emergence of language. Erlbaum.
Maess B., Koelsch S., Gunter T. C. & Friederici A. D. (2001) Musical syntax is processed in Broca's area: An MEG study. Nature Neuroscience 4:540–45.
Malle B. F. (2002) The relation between language and theory of mind in development and evolution. In: The evolution of language out of pre-language, ed. Givón T. & Malle B., pp. 265–84. John Benjamins.
Marcus G. F. (2004) The birth of the mind: How a tiny number of genes creates the complexities of human thought. Basic Books.
Maynard-Smith J. (1978) Optimization theory in evolution. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 9:3156.
McClintock B. (1950) The origin and behavior of mutable loci in maize. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 36:344–55.
McMahon A. M. S. (1994) Understanding language change. Cambridge University Press.
Monaghan P., Chater N. & Christiansen M. H. (2005) The differential role of phonological and distributional cues in grammatical categorisation. Cognition 96:143–82.
Monaghan P. & Christiansen M. H. (2008) Integration of multiple probabilistic cues in syntax acquisition. In: Trends in corpus research: Finding structure in data (TILAR Series), ed. Behrens H., pp. 139–63. John Benjamins.
Morgan J. L. & Demuth K. (1996) Signal to syntax: Bootstrapping from speech to grammar in early acquisition. Erlbaum.
Morgan J. L., Meier R. P. & Newport E. L. (1987) Structural packaging in the input to language learning: Contributions of prosodic and morphological marking of phrases to the acquisition of language. Cognitive Psychology 19:498550.
Munroe S. & Cangelosi A. (2002) Learning and the evolution of language: the role of cultural variation and learning cost in the Baldwin Effect. Artificial Life 8:311–39.
Murphy G. L. (2002) The big book of concepts. MIT Press.
Nerlich B. (1989) The evolution of the concept of “linguistic evolution” in the 19th and 20th century. Lingua 77:101–12.
Nettle D. & Dunbar R. I. M. (1997) Social markers and the evolution of reciprocal exchange. Current Anthropology 38:9399.
Nevins A., Pesetsky D. & Rodrigues C. (2007) Pirahã exceptionality: A reassessment. (Online publication). Available at: http://ling.auf.net/lingBuzz/000411://ling.auf.net/lingBuzz/000411.
Newmeyer F. J. (1991) Functional explanation in linguistics and the origins of language. Language and Communication 11:328.
Newmeyer F. J. (2003) What can the field of linguistics tell us about the origin of language? in: Language evolution, ed. Christiansen M. H. & Kirby S., pp. 5876. Oxford University Press.
Newport E. L. & Aslin R. N. (2004) Learning at a distance: I. Statistical learning of non-adjacent dependencies. Cognitive Psychology 48:127–62.
Nowak M. A., Komarova N. L. & Niyogi P. (2001) Evolution of universal grammar. Science 291:114–18.
Odling-Smee F. J., Laland K. N. & Feldman M. W. (2003) Niche construction: The neglected process in evolution. Princeton University Press.
O'Grady W. (2005) Syntactic carpentry: An emergentist approach to syntax. Erlbaum.
Onnis L., Christiansen M. H., Chater N. & Gómez R. (2003) Reduction of uncertainty in human sequential learning: Evidence from artificial grammar learning. In: Proceedings of the 25th Annual Cognitive Science Society Conference, ed. Alterman R. & Kirsh D., pp. 886–91. Erlbaum.
Onnis L., Monaghan P., Chater N. & Richmond K. (2005) Phonology impacts segmentation in speech processing. Journal of Memory and Language 53:225–37.
Osherson D., Stob M. & Weinstein S. (1986) Systems that learn. MIT Press.
Otake T., Hatano G., Cutler A. & Mehler J. (1993) Mora or syllable? Speech segmentation in Japanese. Journal of Memory and Language 32:258–78.
Packard M. & Knowlton B. (2002) Learning and memory functions of the basal ganglia. Annual Review of Neuroscience 25:563–93.
Patel A. D., Gibson E., Ratner J., Besson M. & Holcomb P. J. (1998) Processing syntactic relations in language and music: An event-related potential study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 10:717–33.
Pearlmutter N. J. & MacDonald M. C. (1995) Individual differences and probabilistic constraints in syntactic ambiguity resolution. Journal of Memory and Language 34:521–42.
Peña M., Bonnatti L., Nespor M. & Mehler J. (2002) Signal-driven computations in speech processing. Science 298:604607.
Pennisi E. (2004) The first language? Science 303:1319–20.
Percival W. K. (1987) Biological analogy in the study of languages before the advent of comparative grammar. In: Biological metaphor and cladistic classification, ed. Hoenigswald H. M. & Wiener L. F., pp. 338. University of Pennsylvania Press.
Petersson K. M., Forkstam C. & Ingvar M. (2004) Artificial syntactic violations activate Broca's region. Cognitive Science 28:383407.
Piattelli-Palmarini M. (1989) Evolution, selection and cognition: From “learning” to parameter setting in biology and in the study of language. Cognition 31(1):144.
Piattelli-Palmarini M. (1994) Ever since language and learning: Afterthoughts on the Piaget-Chomsky debate. Cognition 50:315–46.
Pinker S. (1984) Language learnability and language development. Harvard University Press.
Pinker S. (1989) Learnability and cognition: The acquisition of argument structure. MIT Press.
Pinker S. (1994) The language instinct: How the mind creates language. William Morrow.
Pinker S. (2003) Language as an adaptation to the cognitive niche. In: Language evolution, ed. Christiansen M. H. & Kirby S., pp. 1637. Oxford University Press.
Pinker S. & Bloom P. (1990) Natural language and natural selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13:707–27; discussion 727–84. Available at: http://www.bbsonline.org/Preprints/OldArchive/bbs.pinker.html.
Pinker S. & Jackendoff R. (2005) The faculty of language: What's special about it? Cognition 95(2):201–36.
Pinker S. & Jackendoff R. (in press) The components of language: What's specific to language, and what's specific to humans? in: Language universals, ed. Christiansen M. H., Collins C. & Edelman S.. Oxford University Press.
Plante E., Gómez R. L. & Gerken L. A. (2002) Sensitivity to word order cues by normal and language/learning disabled adults. Journal of Communication Disorders 35:453–62.
Pomerantz J. R. & Kubovy M. (1986) Theoretical approaches to perceptual organization: Simplicity and likelihood principles. In: Handbook of perception and human performance, vol. 2: Cognitive processes and performance, ed. Boff K. R., Kaufman L. & Thomas J. P., pp. 36–1–36–46. Wiley.
Quine W. V. O. (1960) Word and object. MIT Press.
Raddick G. (2000) Review of S. Alter's Darwinism and the Linguistic Image. British Journal for the History of Science 33:122–24.
Raddick G. (2002) Darwin on language and selection. Selection 3:716.
Reali F. & Christiansen M. H. (2007) Processing of relative clauses is made easier by frequency of occurrence. Journal of Memory and Language 57:123.
Reali F. & Christiansen M. H. (in press) Sequential learning and the interaction between biological and linguistic adaptation in language evolution. Interaction Studies.
Reeder P. A. (2004). Language learnability and the evolution of word order universals: Insights from artificial grammar learning. Unpublished undergraduate honors thesis, Department of Psychology, Cornell University.
Reinhart T. (1983) Anaphora and semantic interpretation. Chicago University Press.
Richerson P. J. & Boyd R. (2005) Not by genes alone: How culture transformed human evolution. Chicago University Press.
Ritt N. (2004) Selfish sounds and linguistic evolution: A Darwinian approach to language change. Cambridge University Press.
Rossel S., Corlija J. & Schuster S. (2002) Predicting three-dimensional target motion: How archer fish determine where to catch their dislodged prey. Journal of Experimental Biology 205:3321–26.
Saffran J. R. (2001) The use of predictive dependencies in language learning. Journal of Memory and Language 44:493515.
Saffran J. R. (2002) Constraints on statistical language learning. Journal of Memory and Language 47:172–96.
Saffran J. R. (2003) Statistical language learning: Mechanisms and constraints. Current Directions in Psychological Science 12:110–14.
Saffran J. R., Aslin R. N. & Newport E. L. (1996a) Statistical learning by 8-month-old infants. Science 274:1926–28.
Saffran J. R., Newport E. L. & Aslin R. N. (1996b) Word segmentation: The role of distributional cues. Journal of Memory and Language 35:606–21.
Sag I. A. & Pollard C. J. (1987) Head-driven phrase structure grammar: An informal synopsis. CSLI Report 87–79. Stanford University.
Sandler W., Meir I., Padden C. & Aronoff M. (2005) The emergence of grammar: Systematic structure in a new language. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 102(7):2661–65.
Schleicher A. (1863) Die Darwinsche Theorie und die Sprachwissenschaft. Böhlau.
Schlosser G. & Wagner G. P., eds. (2004) Modularity in development and evolution. University of Chicago Press.
Schoenemann P. T. (1999) Syntax as an emergent characteristic of the evolution of semantic complexity. Minds and Machines 9:309–46.
Seidenberg M. S. (1985) The time course of phonological code activation in two writing systems. Cognition 19:130.
Seidenberg M. S. (1997) Language acquisition and use: Learning and applying probabilistic constraints. Science 275:15991604.
Seidenberg M. S. & MacDonald M. (2001) Constraint-satisfaction in language acquisition. In: Connectionist psycholinguistics, ed. Christiansen M. H. & Chater N., pp. 281318. Ablex.
Senghas A., Kita S. & Özyürek A. (2004) Children creating core properties of language: Evidence from an emerging sign language in Nicaragua. Science 305(5691):1779–82.
Sereno M. I. (1991) Four analogies between biological and cultural/linguistic evolution. Journal of Theoretical Biology 151:467507.
Simoncelli E. P. & Olshausen B. A. (2001) Natural image statistics as neural representation. Annual Review of Neuroscience 24:11931215.
Slobin D. I. (1973) Cognitive prerequisites for the development of grammar. In: Studies of child language development, ed. Ferguson C. A. & Slobin D. I., pp. 175208. Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Slobin D. I. & Bever T. G. (1982) Children use canonical sentence schemas: A crosslinguistic study of word order and inflections. Cognition 12:229–65.
Smith K. (2002) Natural selection and cultural selection in the evolution of communication. Adaptive Behavior 10:2544.
Smith K. (2004) The evolution of vocabulary. Journal of Theoretical Biology 228:127–42.
Smith K., Brighton H. & Kirby S. (2003a) Complex systems in language evolution: The cultural emergence of compositional structure. Advances in Complex Systems 6:537–58.
Sperber D. & Wilson D. (1986) Relevance. Blackwell.
Stallings L., MacDonald M. & O'Seaghdha P. (1998) Phrasal ordering constraints in sentence production: phrase length and verb disposition in heavy-NP shift. Journal of Memory and Language 39:392417.
Steedman M. (2000) The syntactic process. MIT Press.
Stevick R. D. (1963) The biological model and historical linguistics. Language 39:159–69.
Studdert-Kennedy M. & Goldstein L. (2003) Launching language: The gestural origin of discrete infinity. In: Language evolution, ed. Christiansen M. H. & Kirby S., pp. 235–54. Oxford University Press.
Suzuki D. T., Griffiths A. J. F., Miller J. H. & Lewontin R. C. (1989) An introduction to genetic analysis, 4th edition.W. H. Freeman.
Syvanen M. (1985) Cross-species gene transfer: Implications for a new theory of evolution. Journal of Theoretical Biology 112:333–43.
Tanenhaus M. K., Spivey-Knowlton M. J., Eberhard K. M. & Sedivy J. E. (1995) Integration of visual and linguistic information in spoken language comprehension. Science 268:1632–34.
Tanenhaus M. K. & Trueswell J. C. (1995) Sentence comprehension. In: Handbook of cognition and perception, ed. Miller J. & Eimas P., pp. 217–62. Academic Press.
Tomasello M. (2000a) Do young children have adult syntactic competence? Cognition 74:209–53.
Tomasello M. (2000b) The item-based nature of children's early syntactic development. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4:156–63.
Tomasello M. ed. (2000c) The new psychology of language: Cognitive and functional approaches. Erlbaum.
Tomasello M. (2003) Constructing a language: A usage-based theory of language acquisition. Harvard University Press.
Tomasello M. (2004) What kind of evidence could refute the UG hypothesis? A commentary on Wunderlich. Studies in Language 28(3):642–44.
Tomasello M. (2008) Origins of human communication. MIT Press.
Tomasello M., Carpenter M., Call J., Behne T. & Moll H. (2005) Understanding and sharing intentions: The origins of cultural cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28:675–91.
Tomblin J. B., Mainela-Arnold M. E. & Zhang X. (2007) Procedural learning in adolescents with and without specific language impairment. Language Learning and Development 3:269–93.
Tomblin J. B., Shriberg L., Murray J., Patil S. & Williams C. (2004) Speech and language characteristics associated with a 7/13 translocation involving FOXP2. American Journal of Medical Genetics 130B:97.
Ullman M. T. (2004) Contributions of memory circuits to language: The declarative/procedural model. Cognition 92:231–70.
Van Everbroeck E., (1999) Language type frequency and learnability: A connectionist appraisal. In: Proceedings of the 21st Annual Cognitive Science Society Conference, ed. Hahn M. & Stoness S. C., pp. 755–60. Erlbaum.
Voight B. F., Kudaravalli S., Wen X. & Pritchard J. K. (2006) A map of recent positive selection in the human genome. PloS Biology 4:e72.
von Humboldt W. (1836/1999) On language: On the diversity of human language construction and its influence on the metal development of the human species. Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 1836).
Vouloumanos A. & Werker J. F. (2007) Listening to language at birth: Evidence for a bias for speech in neonates. Developmental Science 10:159–64.
Waddington C. H. (1942) Canalization of development and the inheritance of acquired characters. Nature 150:563–65.
Weber B. H. & Depew D. J., eds. (2003) Evolution and learning: The Baldwin effect reconsidered. MIT Press.
Weissenborn J. & Höhle B., eds. (2001) Approaches to bootstrapping: Phonological, lexical, syntactic and neurophysiological aspects of early language acquisition. John Benjamins.
Wilkins W. K. & Wakefield J. (1995) Brain evolution and neurolinguistic preconditions. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18:161–82.
Yamashita H. & Chang F. (2001) “Long before short” preference in the production of a head-final language. Cognition 81:B45B55.
Yamauchi H. (2001) The difficulty of the Baldwinian account of linguistic innateness. In: ECAL-01, ed. Kelemen J. & Sosík P., pp. 391400. Springer.
Yang C. D. (2002) Knowledge and learning in natural language. Oxford University Press.
Zeevat H. (2006) Grammaticalisation and evolution. In: The evolution of language, ed. Cangelosi A., Smith A. D. M. & Smith K., pp. 372–78. World Scientific.
Zuidema W. (2003) How the poverty of the stimulus solves the poverty of the stimulus. In: Advances in neural information processing systems, ed. Becker S., Thrun S. & Obermayer K., pp. 5158. MIT Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 35
Total number of PDF views: 401 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1351 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 12th December 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.