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Title: The Primacy of Grammar
Written By: Nirmalangshu Mukherji
Series Title: Bradford Books

The contemporary discipline of biolinguistics is beginning to have the feel
of scientific inquiry. Biolinguistics---especially the work of Noam
Chomsky---suggests that the design of language may be "perfect": language
is an optimal solution to conditions of sound and meaning. What is the
scope of this inquiry? Which aspect of nature does this science
investigate? What is its relation to the rest of science? What notions of
language and mind are under investigation? This book is a study of such
foundational questions. Exploring Chomsky's claims, Nirmalangshu Mukherji
argues that the significance of biolinguistic inquiry extends beyond the
domain of language.

Biolinguistics is primarily concerned with grammars that represent just the
computational aspects of the mind/brain. This restriction to grammars,
Mukherji argues, opens the possibility that the computational system of
human language may be involved in each cognitive system that requires
similar computational resources. Deploying analytical argumentation and
empirical evidence, Mukherji suggests that a computational system of
language consisting of very specific principles and operations is likely to
be involved in each articulatory symbol system--such as music--that
manifests unboundedness. In that sense, the biolinguistics approach may
have identified, after thousands of years of inquiry, a specific structure
of the human mind.

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: MIT Press
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
Cognitive Science
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 026201405X
ISBN-13: 9780262014052
Pages: 296
Prices: U.S. $ 45