It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
The Cambridge Handbook of Communication Disorders examines the full range of developmental and acquired communication disorders and provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive guide to the epidemiology, aetiology and clinical features of these disorders.
'Dynamical Grammar' explores the consequences for language acquisition, language evolution, and linguistic theory of taking the underlying architecture of the language faculty to be that of a dynamical system.
The authors investigate whether it is possible for a complex adaptive system to identify the categories, structures, and rules of a language given access only to instances of grammatical utterances of that language. The linguistic tradition says that this is impossible, but there is a growing body of literature in psychology and computer science arguing that grammar can be uncovered using purely statistical techniques applied to the distribution of forms in a string of words. The book goes on to discuss whether a learner requires information about structure that goes beyond the information that is contained in the meaning. Does the learner have to have knowledge of grammar per se prior to language acquisition, as has been traditionally assumed?
The authors ask whether it is possible to adequately describe and explain linguistic phenomena if we restrict ourselves to the relatively impoverished apparatus that we require for language acquisition. They explore the consequences of adopting a radical form of minimalism to try to reconcile the linguistic facts with the book's perspective of language acquisition. Culicover and Nowak investigate to what extent it is possible to account for language variation in dynamical terms, as a consequence of the behaviour of the complex social network in which languages and the properties of languages are acquired by learners through interactions with other speakers over time.