LINGUIST List 10.1554

Mon Oct 18 1999

FYI: L3 Mailing List, LANGUAGE EVOLUTION

Editor for this issue: Jody Huellmantel <jodylinguistlist.org>


Directory

  1. Robert J. Fouser, L3 Mailing List
  2. Stevan Harnad, LANGUAGE EVOLUTION: 2 Psycoloquy Calls for Commentators

Message 1: L3 Mailing List

Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 21:54:37 +0900
From: Robert J. Fouser <rjfouserkumagaku.ac.jp>
Subject: L3 Mailing List

Dear Colleagues,

I have recently set up a mailing list dedicated to discussing L3
(third language) acquisition, multiple language acquisition, tri- and
multilingualism. Anybody interested in these topics is welcome to
join. In the spirit of multilingualism, messages in different
languages are also welcome. To join, send the following message,
leaving the subject line blank, to

majordomotsubaki.kumagaku.ac.jp:

subscribe l3-list [your e-mail address]

Your request will be processed as soon as possible.

With best wishes,

Robert Fouser
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Message 2: LANGUAGE EVOLUTION: 2 Psycoloquy Calls for Commentators

Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 18:29:37 +0100 (BST)
From: Stevan Harnad <harnadcoglit.ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Subject: LANGUAGE EVOLUTION: 2 Psycoloquy Calls for Commentators


 (1) THE COGNITIVE PREREQUISITES FOR LANGUAGE (Burling)
 http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/psyc-bin/newpsy?10.032

 (2) LANGUAGE EVOLUTION AND THE COMPLEXITY CRITERION (Bichakjian)
 http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/psyc-bin/newpsy?10.033

 The two target articles whose abstracts follow below were published
 today in PSYCOLOQUY, a refereed journal of Open Peer Commentary
 sponsored by the American Psychological Association. Qualified
 professional biobehavioral, neural or cognitive scientists are
 hereby invited to submit Open Peer Commentary on either or both
 articles. Please email or consult the journal's websites below for
 Instructions if you are not familiar with format or acceptance
 criteria for PSYCOLOQUY commentaries (all submissions are
 refereed).

 To submit articles and commentaries or to seek information:

 EMAIL: psycpucc.princeton.edu
 URL: http://www.princeton.edu/~harnad/psyc.html
 http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/psyc

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------

 (1) THE COGNITIVE PREREQUISITES FOR LANGUAGE
 Target Article on Language-Prerequisites

 Robbins Burling
 Department of Anthropology
 1020 LSA Building
 University of Michigan
 Ann Arbor MI 48109 USA
 rburlingumich.edu

 ABSTRACT: The first use of words by our early ancestors probably
 depended on four cognitive capacities: A rich conceptual
 understanding of the world around us; the ability to use and
 understand motivated signs, both icons and indices; the ability to
 imitate; the ability to infer the referential intentions of others.
 The latter three capacities are rare or absent in nonprimate
 mammals, but incipient in apes and well developed in modern humans.
 Before early humans could have begun to use words these capacities
 would have needed further development than is found in modern apes.
 It is not clear why selection favoured these skills more strongly
 in our ancestors than in the ancestors of apes.

 KEYWORDS: cognition; evolution; iconicity; imitation; language;
 names; theory-of-mind; words.

Access full text at: 

 http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/psyc-bin/newpsy?10.032

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------

 (2) LANGUAGE EVOLUTION AND THE COMPLEXITY CRITERION
 Target Article on Language-Complexity
 
 Bernard H. Bichakjian
 Department of French
 University of Nijmegen, 
 The Netherlands
 Bichakjianlet.kun.nl
 http://welcome.to/bichakjian

 ABSTRACT: Though it is increasingly accepted in the behavioral
 sciences, the evolutionary approach is still meeting resistance in
 linguistics. Linguists generally cling to the idea that alternative
 linguistic features are simply gratuitous variants of one another,
 while the advocates of innate grammars, who make room for evolution
 as a biological process, exclude the evolution of languages. The
 rationale given is that today's languages are all complex systems.
 This argument is based on the failure to distinguish between
 complexities of form and function. The proper analysis reveals
 instead that linguistic features have consistently decreased their
 material complexity, while increasing their functionality. A
 systematic historical survey will show instead that languages have
 evolved and linguistic features have developed along a Darwinian
 line.
		 KEYWORDS: complexity, Indo-European, language evolution,
 lateralization, neoteny, word order.

Access full text at: 

 http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/psyc-bin/newpsy?10.033

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------

 To submit articles and commentaries or to seek information:

 EMAIL: psycpucc.princeton.edu
 URL: http://www.princeton.edu/~harnad/psyc.html
 http://www.cogsci.soton.ac.uk/psyc
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