LINGUIST List 11.436

Tue Feb 29 2000

Confs: Foundations of Language

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  1. Silke Urban, "Foundations of Language" with Ray Jackendoff

Message 1: "Foundations of Language" with Ray Jackendoff

Date: Tue, 29 Feb 2000 15:16:09 +0100
From: Silke Urban <>
Subject: "Foundations of Language" with Ray Jackendoff

The University of Leipzig (Germany) Centre of Cognitive Science and
the Max-Planck-Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience Leipzig invite
everybody to a workshop "Foundations of Language" with Ray Jackendoff:

times and places
11th of May, 2000: 16.30 - 18.30 at the MPI building,
12th of May, 2000: 16.00 - 18.00 at the MPI building,
16th of May, 2000: 16.00 - 18.00 at the University, HS 17
17th of May, 2000: 16.00 - 18.00 at the University, HS 17

The time is ripe to reexamine the basic issues of linguistic theory in
the light of research in linguistics and neighboring disciplines. The
last thorough exposition of the foundations of generative linguistics
was Chomsky's Aspects of the Theory of Syntax in 1965. Since then,
virtually all work in and around linguistics has either taken these
foundations for granted, rejected them altogether, or modified parts
of the formal machinery without addressing the implications for basic

These lectures, based on a book in progress, will ask what was right
in these foundations, and what in retrospect seems to have been
mistaken; it will show how the last thirty-five years of research lead
to a more comprehensive view of the language faculty and its place in
the study of mind.

The goal is to develop an overall framework in which it is possible to
see how the subdisciplines of generative linguistics fit together and
how they interact with the neighboring disciplines. In particular, I
will be concerned to show that interaction is a two-way street: not
only can generative linguistics be constrained and enriched by
cross-disciplinary research, but also basic facts about language offer
important challenges for contemporary theories of the brain.

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