Language as internal

In Barry C. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 127--139 (2006)
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Abstract

According to internalist conceptions of language, languages are properties of the mind/brains of individuals and supervene entirely on the internal states of these mind/brains. Hence, languages are primarily to be studied by the mind and/or brain sciences — psychology, neuroscience, and the cognitive sciences more generally. This is not to deny that other sciences may contribute to our understanding too. The internalist conception of language is most associated with Chomsky, who has argued for it in many of his writings. Chomsky argues that one part of the human brain is specialized for language. This language system has an innate specification.

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Anne Louise Bezuidenhout
University of South Carolina

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