David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 26 (2):201-222 (2011)
Grammar is now widely regarded as a substantially biological phenomenon, yet the problem of language evolution remains a matter of controversy among Linguists, Cognitive Scientists, and Evolutionary Theorists alike. In this paper, I present a new theoretical argument for one particular hypothesis—that a Language Acquisition Device of the sort first posited by Noam Chomsky might have evolved via the so-called Baldwin Effect . Close attention to the workings of that mechanism, I argue, helps to explain a previously mysterious feature of the Language Acquisition Device—the sheer variety of languages it allows the child to learn—thereby revealing a far stronger case than adherents of the hypothesis have previously supposed. A further unheralded consequence of the hypothesis is a conceptual shift in the Chomskyan understanding of language, wherein the essentially public nature of language is freshly emphasised. This has the effect of bringing the Chomskyan view into closer accord with Saussurean accounts of language, as well as with recent trends in evolutionary theory
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Noam Chomsky (1988). Language and Problems of Knowledge. The Mit Press.
Noam Chomsky (2000). New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind. Cambridge University Press.
Noam Chomsky (1968). Quine's Empirical Assumptions. Synthese 19 (1-2):53 - 68.
Noam Chomsky (1995). The Minimalist Program. The Mit Press.
Noam A. Chomsky (1980). Rules and Representations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (127):1-61.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Julia Herschensohn (1998). Universal Grammar and the Critical Age. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):611-612.
Graciela Kuechle & Diego Rios (2012). A Game-Theoretic Analysis of the Baldwin Effect. Erkenntnis 77 (1):31-49.
Paul Griffiths (2003). Beyond the Baldwin Effect: James Mark Baldwin's 'Social Heredity', Epigenetic Inheritance, and Niche Construction. In Bruce H. Weber & David J. Depew (eds.), Evolution and Learning: The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered. Mit Press. 193--215.
Gita Martohardjono, Samuel David Epstein & Suzanne Flynn (1998). Universal Grammar: Hypothesis Space or Grammar Selection Procedures? Is UG Affected by Critical Periods? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):612-614.
Fiona Cowie (1997). The Logical Problem of Language Acquisition. Synthese 111 (1):17-51.
Ray Jackendoff (2003). Précis of Foundations of Language: Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution,. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):651-665.
Christopher Gauker (1990). How to Learn Language Like a Chimpanzee. Philosophical Psychology 4 (1):139-46.
Kevin J. S. Zollman & Rory Smead (2010). Plasticity and Language: An Example of the Baldwin Effect? Philosophical Studies 147 (1):7 - 21.
Added to index2010-07-26
Total downloads34 ( #48,962 of 1,096,953 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #164,383 of 1,096,953 )
How can I increase my downloads?