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  1. Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy (2003). A Shrug is Not a Sentence. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):215-215.
    Corballis's claim that the origin of syntax lies in solely gesture is contested. His scenario does not explain why constraints on syntactic “movement” are apparently part of the human biological endowment for language. It also does not pay enough attention to the internal structure of sentences, and how they contrast with other linguistic units such as noun phrases.
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  2. Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy (2003). What Proper Names, and Their Absence, Do Not Demonstrate. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (3):288-289.
    Hurford claims that empty variables antedated proper names in linguistic (not merely logical) predicate-argument structure, and this had an effect on visual perception. But his evidence, drawn from proper names and the supposed inability of nonhumans to recognise individual conspecifics, is weak. So visual perception seems less relevant to the evolution of grammar than Hurford thinks.
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  3. Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy (2000). Broca's Area and Language Evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):28-29.
    Grodzinsky associates Broca's area with three kinds of deficit, relating to articulation, comprehension (involving trace deletion), and production (involving “tree pruning”). Could these be special cases of one deficit? Evidence from research on language evolution suggests that they may all involve syllable structure or those aspects of syntax that evolved through exploiting the neural mechanisms underlying syllable structure.
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  4. Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy (1999). Explicitness and Predication: A Risky Linkage. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):762-763.
  5. Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy (1999). The Tension Between “Combinatorial” and “Class-Default” Regularity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):1017-1018.
    Clahsen shows that “combinatorial” inflection is processed differently from “irregular” inflection. However, combinatorially regular affixes need not coincide with “class-default” affixes, that is, affixes shared by more than one inflection class and all of whose rivals are peculiar to one class. This creates a tension that may help to explain the persistence of inflection class systems.
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  6. Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy (1998). The Frame/Content Model and Syntactic Evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):515-516.
    The frame/content theory suggests that chewing was tinkered into speaking. A simple extrapolation of this approach suggests that syllable structure may have been tinkered into syntax. That would explain the widely noted parallels between sentence structure and syllable structure, and also the otherwise mysterious pervasiveness of the grammatical distinction between sentences and noun phrases.
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  7. Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy (1994). Inflection Classes, Gender, and the Principle of Contrast. In Stephen Everson (ed.), Language. Cambridge University Press. 737--788.
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