LINGUIST List 27.1016

Fri Feb 26 2016

Books: Why Only Us: Berwick, Chomsky

Editor for this issue: Sara Couture <saralinguistlist.org>


Date: 25-Feb-2016
From: David Weininger <dgwmit.edu>
Subject: Why Only Us: Berwick, Chomsky
E-mail this message to a friend

Title: Why Only Us
Published: 2016
Publisher: MIT Press
                http://mitpress.mit.edu/

Book URL: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/why-only-us

Author: Robert C. Berwick
Author: Noam Chomsky
Electronic: ISBN: 9780262333344 Pages: 224 Price: U.S. $ 16.95
Hardback: ISBN: 9780262034241 Pages: 224 Price: U.S. $ 22.95
Abstract:

We are born crying, but those cries signal the first stirring of language. Within a year or so, infants master the sound system of their language; a few years after that, they are engaging in conversations. This remarkable, species-specific ability to acquire any human language—“the language faculty”—raises important biological questions about language, including how it has evolved. This book by two distinguished scholars—a computer scientist and a linguist—addresses the enduring question of the evolution of language.

Robert Berwick and Noam Chomsky explain that until recently the evolutionary question could not be properly posed, because we did not have a clear idea of how to define “language” and therefore what it was that had evolved. But since the Minimalist Program, developed by Chomsky and others, we know the key ingredients of language and can put together an account of the evolution of human language and what distinguishes us from all other animals.

Berwick and Chomsky discuss the biolinguistic perspective on language, which views language as a particular object of the biological world; the computational efficiency of language as a system of thought and understanding; the tension between Darwin’s idea of gradual change and our contemporary understanding about evolutionary change and language; and evidence from nonhuman animals, in particular vocal learning in songbirds.

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
                            Cognitive Science
                            General Linguistics
                            Language Acquisition
                            Philosophy of Language

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:
http://linguistlist.org/pubs/books/get-book.cfm?BookID=98373


---------------------------------- Publishing Partner ----------------------------------
Cambridge University Press http://us.cambridge.org

----------------------------- Major Supporting Publishers -----------------------------
Akademie Verlag GmbH http://www.oldenbourg-verlag.de/akademie-verlag
Bloomsbury Linguistics (formerly Continuum Linguistics) http://www.bloomsbury.com
Brill http://www.brill.nl
Cambridge Scholars Publishing http://www.c-s-p.org
Cascadilla Press http://www.cascadilla.com/
Classiques Garnier http://www.classiques-garnier.com/
De Gruyter Mouton http://www.degruyter.com/
Edinburgh University Press http://www.euppublishing.com
Elsevier Ltd http://www.elsevier.com/
Equinox Publishing Ltd http://www.equinoxpub.com/
European Language Resources Association (ELRA) http://www.elra.info/
Georgetown University Press http://www.press.georgetown.edu/
John Benjamins http://www.benjamins.com/
Lincom GmbH http://www.lincom-shop.eu/
MIT Press http://mitpress.mit.edu/
Multilingual Matters http://www.multilingual-matters.com/
Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG http://www.narr.de/
Oxford University Press http://www.oup.com/us
Palgrave Macmillan http://www.palgrave.com/
Peter Lang AG http://www.peterlang.com/
Rodopi http://www.rodopi.nl/
Routledge (Taylor and Francis) http://www.routledge.com/
Springer http://www.springer.com/
University of Toronto Press http://www.utpjournals.com/
Wiley-Blackwell http://www.wiley.com/

--------------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ---------------------------
Association of Editors of the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics http://www.fl.ul.pt/revistas/JPL/JPLweb.htm
International Pragmatics Assoc. http://ipra.ua.ac.be/
Linguistic Association of Finland http://www.ling.helsinki.fi/sky/
Morgan & Claypool Publishers http://www.morganclaypool.com/
Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT) http://www.lotpublications.nl/
Seoul National University http://j-cs.org/index/index.php
SIL International Publications http://www.sil.org/resources/publications
Universitat Jaume I http://www.uji.es/CA/publ/
University of Nebraska Press http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/
Utrecht institute of Linguistics http://www-uilots.let.uu.nl/

Page Updated: 26-Feb-2016