1st Edition

Advances in Biolinguistics The Human Language Faculty and Its Biological Basis

Edited By Koji Fujita, Cedric Boeckx Copyright 2016
    276 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    286 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Biolinguistics is a highly interdisciplinary field that seeks the rapprochement between linguistics and biology. Linking theoretical linguistics, theoretical biology, genetics, neuroscience and cognitive psychology, this book offers a collection of chapters situating the enterprise conceptually, highlighting both the promises and challenges of the field, and chapters focusing on the challenges and prospects of taking interdisciplinarity seriously. It provides concrete illustrations of some of the cutting-edge research in biolinguistics and piques the interest of undergraduate students looking for a field to major in and inspires graduate students on possible research directions. It is also meant to show to specialists in adjacent fields how a particular strand of theoretical linguistics relates to their concerns, and in so doing, the book intends to foster collaboration across disciplines.

    1. Introduction: The Biolinguistic Program: A New Beginning, Koji Fujita and Cedric Boeckx Part I: Computational Issues 2. Feature-equilibria in Syntax, Hiroki Narita and Naoki Fukui 3. On the Primitive Operations of Syntax, Takaomi Kato, Hiroki Narita, Hironobu Kasai, Mihoko Zushi and Naoki Fukui 4. Case and Predicate-Argument Relations, Mihoko Zushi Part II: Development, Processing, and Variations 5. Structure Dependence in Child English: New Evidence, Koji Sugisaki 6. Make a Good Prediction or Get Ready for a Locality Penalty: Maybe It’s Coming Late, Hajime Ono, Kentaro Nakatani and Noriaki Yusa 7. Some Things to Learn from the Intersection between Language and Working Memory, Gonzalo Castillo 8. Eliminating Parameters from the Narrow Syntax: Rule Ordering Variation by Third Factor Underspecification, Miki Obata and Samuel Epstein Part III: Conceptual and Methodological Foundations 9. On Certain Fallacies in Evolutionary Linguistics and How One Can Eliminate Them, Koji Fujita 10. Biological Pluralism in Service of Biolinguistics, Pedro Tiago Martins, Evelina Leivada, Antonio Benítez-Burraco and Cedric Boeckx 11. On the Current Status of Biolinguistics as a Biological Science, Masanobu Ueda Part IV: Evolutionary Considerations 12. Proposing the Hypothesis of Earlier Emergence of Human Language Faculty, Masayuki Ike-uchi,13. Two Aspects of Syntactic Evolution, Michio Hosaka Part V: Topics in Neurobiology14. Syntax in the Brain, Noriaki Yusa 15. The Central Role of the Thalamus in Language and Cognition, Constantina Theofanopoulou and Cedric Boeckx 16. A Biolinguistic Approach to Language Disorders: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Clinical Linguistics, Antonio Benítez-Burraco


    Koji Fujita is Professor at the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University.

    Cedric Boeckx is an ICREA Research Professor at the Institutió Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats and is also associated with the University of Barcelona.

    "Biolinguistics, that is, the evolutionary, neurobiological and cognitive foundations of language (this unique and lofty faculty of our species) has been rightly considered, so far, a quintessentially interdisciplinary venture. This volume fulfils the promise of a wide interdisciplinary panorama of the field, but also intimates the emergence of a new rich discipline. Just as cognitive science is now well established as a proper, coherent domain, so will biolinguistics be in a near future." - Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, Professor of Cognitive Science, University of Arizona

    "While ‘cutting edge’ is one of those descriptors commonly used for new books, The Human Language Faculty and Its Biological Basis provides it beautifully. The chapters collected here represent true advances in biolinguistics, not only providing a state of the art but also sketching exciting new routes to old problems — as well as paving the way for asking new questions and offering interesting ways to addressing them." - Kleanthes K. Grohmann, Associate Professor of Biolinguistics, University of Cyprus