1686 Pages
    by Routledge

    Biolinguistics, the study of the relation between humans’ biology and the properties of the Language Faculty, is an emergent and lively field, and is central to linguistics. It gives rise to lively debates on the origin of language, and the specificity of human language in the animal kingdom as well as the biological basis of the human language capacities. This new four volume collection assembles the most important contributions to the field, exploring the foundations of the subject and language development, variation in languages and biology, and complexities in language and biology.

    Biolinguistics: Critical Concepts in Linguistics

    Edited by Anna Maria Di Sciullo

    Volume I: Foundations, Language Design, Human-Animal studies, Unification




    Part 1: The Biolinguistic Program

    1. Marc D. Hauser, Noam Chomsky and W. Tecumseh Fitch, ‘The Faculty of Language: What Is It, Who Has It, and How Did It Evolve?’, Science 298, 2002, 1569–1579.

    2. Cedric Boeckx and Massimo Piattelli-Palmerini, ‘Language as a Natural Object - Linguistics as a Natural Science’, The Linguistic Review 22, 2005, 447–466. ‎

    3. Noam Chomsky, ‘Of Minds and Language’, Biolinguistics 1, 2007, 9-27.

    4. Robert C Berwick and Noam Chomsky, The Biolinguistic Program: The Current State of its Development’, in A.M. Di Sciullo and C. Boeckx (eds), The Biolinguistic Enterprise: New Perspectives on the Evolution and Nature of the Human Language Faculty (Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 19–41.

    Part 2: Language Design

    5. Noam Chomsky, ‘Three Factors in Language Design’, Linguistic Inquiry 36, 2005, 1–22.

    6. A. Moro, M. Tettamanti, D. Perani, C. Donati, S. F. Cappa and F. Fazio, ‘Syntax and the Brain: Disentangling Grammar by Selective Anomalies’, NeuroImage 13, 2001, 110–118.

    7. Marc Richards, ‘Two Kinds of Variation in a Minimalist System’, in Fabian Heck, Gereon Muller and Jochen Trommer (eds), Linguistische Arbeits Berichte 87, (Universitat Leipzig, 2008), pp 133-162.

    8. Guglielmo Cinque and Luigi Rizzi, ‘The Cartography of Syntactic Structures’, in Bernd Heine and Heiko Narrog (eds), Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis (Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 51-66.

    9. Gennaro Chierchia. ‘Mass Nouns, Vagueness, and Semantic Variation’, Synthese 174, 2010, 99-149.

    10. Anders Holmberg and Ian Roberts, ‘Parameters and the Three Factors of Language Design’, in M. Carme Picaillo (ed.), Linguistic Variation in the Minimalist Framework (Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 61-81

    11. Andreas Trotzke, Markus Bader and Lyn Frazier, ‘Third Factors and the Performance Interface in Language Design’, Biolinguistics 7, 2013, 1-34

    Part 3: Human-animal Studies

    12. Simon E. Fisher and Constance Scharff, ‘FOXP2 as a Molecular Window into Speech and Language’, Trends in Genetics 25, 2009, 166–177.

    13. Erich D. Jarvis,Learned Birdsong and the Neurobiology of Human Language’, Annals of the New York Academy of Science 1016, 2004, 749–777. ‎

    14. Constance Scharff and Sebastian Haesler, ‘An Evolutionary Perspective on FoxP2: Strictly for the Birds?’, Current Opinion in Neurobiology 15, 2005, 694-703. ‎

    15. Robert C. Berwick, Kazuo Okanoya, Gabriel J. L. Beckers and Johan J. Bolhuis, ‘Songs to Syntax.: The Linguistics of Birdsong’, Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15, 3, 2011, 113-121.

    Part 4: Unification

    16. Lyle Jenkins, ‘Unification in Biolinguistics’, in L. Jenkins (ed.), Variation and Universals in Biolinguistics (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2002), pp. 317-339.

    17. C. R. Gallistel, ‘The Foundational Abstractions’, in Massimo Piattelli-Palmirini, Juan Uriagereka and Pello Salaburu (eds), Of Minds and Language: A Dialogue with Noam Chomsky in the Basque Country (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 58-73.

     18. Anna Maria Di Sciullo, et al, ‘The Biological Nature of Human Language’, Biolinguistics 4, 2010, 4–33.



    Volume 2: Language Development, Acquisition, Impairments



    Part 5: Acquisition

    19. Noam Chomsky, ‘A Review of B. F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior’, Language 35, 1, 1959, 26–58.

    20. Eric H. Lenneberg, ‘On Explaining Language’, Science 164, 1969, 635-643.

    21. Stephen Crain and Mineharu Nakayama, ‘Structure Dependence in Grammar Formation’, Language 63, 3, 1987, 522-543.

    22. Kenneth Wexler, ‘Innateness and Maturation in Linguistic Development’, Developmental Psychology 23, 3, 1990, 645-660.

    23. Stephen Crain and Paul Pietroski, ‘Nature, Nurture and Universal Grammar’, Linguistics and Philosophy 24, 2001, 139-186.

    24. Naama Friedmann, Adriana Belletti and Luigi Rizzi. ‘Relativized Relatives: Types of Intervention in the Acquisition of A-bar Dependencies’, Lingua 119, 2008, 67-88.

    25. Thomas G. Bever, ‘The Canonical Form Constraint: Language Acquisition via a General Theory of Learning’, in Jiansheng Guo et al, Cross-linguistic Approaches to the Psychology of Language (Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 475-492.

    26. C. R. Gallistel, ‘Learning and Memory’, in G. O. Mazur (ed.), Thirty Year Commemoration of the Life of A.R. Luria (New York: Semenenko Foundation, 2008), pp. 49-61.

    27. Robert C. Berwick, Paul Pietroski, Beracah Yankama and Noam Chomsky, ‘Poverty of the Stimulus Revisited’, Cognitive Science 35, 2011, 1207–1242.

    28. Andrea Santi, Angela D. Friederici, Michiru Makuuchi and Yosef Grodzinsky, ‘An fMRI Study Dissociating Distance Measures Computed by Broca's Area in Movement Processing: Clause Boundary vs. Identity’, Frontiers in Psychology May 2015.


    Part 6: Impairments

    29. Kenneth Wexler,Lenneberg’s Dream: Learning, Normal Language Development and Specific Language Impairment’, in Yonata Levi and Jeannette Schaeffer (eds), Language Competence Across Populations: Toward a Definition of Specific Language Impairment (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2003), pp. 11-61.

    30. Cecilia S. L. Lai, Dianne Gerrelli, Anthony P. Monaco, Simon E. Fisher and Andrew J. Copp, ‘FOXP2 Expression during Brain Development Coincides with Adult Sites of Pathology in a Severe Speech and Language Disorder’, Brain 126, 2003, 2455-2462.

    31. Danielle S. Ross and Thomas G. Bever, ‘The Time Course for Language Acquisition in Biologically Distinct Populations: Evidence from Deaf Individuals’, Brain and Language 89, 2004, 115–121.

    32. D. V. M. Bishop, C. V. Adams and C. F. Norbury, ‘Distinct Genetic Influences on Grammar and Phonological Short-term Memory Deficits: Evidence from 6-year-old Twins’, Genes, Brain and Behavior 5, 2005, 158–169.

    33. Kay D. MacDermot, et al, ‘Identification of FOXP2 Truncation as a Novel Cause of Developmental Speech and Language Deficits’, American Journal of Human Genetics 76, 2005, 1074-1080.

    34. Karin Stromswold, ‘The Genetics of Speech and Language Impairments’, The New England Journal of Medicine 359, 2008, 2381–2383



    Volume III. Language Variation, Parameters, Evolution



    Part 7: Variation

    35. Giuseppe Longobardi, ‘Methods in Parametic Linguistics and Cognitive History’, in P. Pica (ed.), Linguistic Variation Yearbook 3, 2003, 101-138.

    36. Bettelou Los, review of ‘Syntactic Change: A Minimalist Approach to Grammaticalization’, Journal of Linguistics 41, 2005, 220-225.

    37. Giuseppe Longobardi and Ian Roberts, ‘Universals, Diversity and Change in the Science of Language: Reaction to "The Myth of Language Universals and Cognitive Science"’, Lingua 120, 2010, 2699– 2703.

    38. Partha Niyogi and Robert C. Berwick, ‘The Proper Treatment of Language Acquisition and Change in a Population Setting’, PNAS 106, 25, 2009, 10124–10129.

    39. Richard S. Kayne, ‘Why Are There No Directionality Parameters?’, in M. Byram Washburn, K. McKinneyBock, E. Varis, A. Sawyer and B. Tomaszewicz (eds), Proceedings of the 28th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (Somerville, Mass.: Cascadilla Press, 2011), pp. 1-23.

    40. Theresa Biberauer, Anders Holmberg and Ian Roberts, ‘A Syntactic Universal and its Consequences’, Linguistic Inquiry, 45, 2, 2014, 169-225.

    41. Giuseppe Longobardi, et al, ‘Across Language Families: Genome Diversity Mirrors Linguistic Variation Within Europe’, American Journal of Physical Anthropology 157, 4, 2015, 630-640.

    42. Matthieu Willems, et al, ‘Using Hybridization Networks to Retrace the Evolution of Indo-European Languages’, BMC Evolutionary Biology 16, 180, 2016.

    Part 8: Evolution

    43. Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini,’What is Language, that it May have Evolved, and What is Evolution, that it May Apply to Language’, in R. Larson, V. Deprez & Y. Yamakido (eds), The Evolution of Human Language: Biolinguistic Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp 148-162.

    44. Karin Stromswold, ‘Genetics and the Evolution of Language: What Genetic Studies Reveal about the Evolution of Language’, in R. K. Larson, V. Déprez and H. Yamakido (eds), Evolution of Language: Biolinguistic Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 176-193.

    45. W. Tecumseh Fitch, ‘"Deep Homology" in the Biology and Evolution of Language’, in A. M. Di Sciullo and C. Boeckx (eds), The Biolinguistic Enterprise: New Perspectives on the Evolution and Nature of the Human Language Faculty (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 135–166.

    46. Noam Chomsky, ‘Some Simple Evo-Devo Theses: How True Might They Be for Language?’, in R. K. Larson, V. Déprez and H. Yamakido (eds), Evolution of Language: Biolinguistic Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, pp. 45-62.

    47. Constance Scharff and Jana Petri, ‘Evo-devo, Deep Homology and FoxP2: Implications for the Evolution of Speech and Language’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 366, 2011, 2124–2140.

    48. Robert C. Berwick, Angela D. Friederici, Noam Chomsky and Johan J. Bolhuis, ‘Evolution, Brain and the Nature of Language’, Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17, 2, 2012, 89–98.

    49. Vitor A. Nobrega and Shigeru Miyagawa. ‘The Precedence of Syntax in the Rapid Emergence of Human Language in Evolution as Defined by the Integration Hypothesis’, Frontiers in Psychology 6, 271, 2015.

    50. Anna Maria Di Sciullo and Stanca Somesfalean, ‘Object Pronouns in the Evolution of Romanian: A Biolinguistic Perspective’, in V. Hill (eds), Formal Approaches to DPs in Old Romanian (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015), pp. 269-290.



    Volume IV: Complexity, Grammar, Human/Animal Divide, Brain Studies



    Part 9: Grammar

    51. Noam Chomsky, ‘Three Models for the Description of Language’, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 2, 1956, 113–124.

    52. Harry Van Der Hulst, ‘Units in the Analysis of Signs’, Phonology 10, 2, 1993, 209-241.

    53. Jeffrey Heinz and William Idsardi, ‘Sentence and Word Complexity’, Science 333, 2011, 295-297.

    54. Tom Roeper, ‘The Acquisition of Recursion: How Formalism Articulates the Child’s Path’, Biolinguistics 5, 1-2, 2011, 57- 86.

    55. Boban Arsenijević and Wolfram Hinzen, ‘On the Absence of X-within-X Recursion in Human Grammar’, Linguistic Inquiry 43, 3, 2012, 423–440.

    56. Anna Maria Di Sciullo, ‘On the Domain Specificity of the Human Language Faculty and the Effects of Principles of Computational Efficiency: Contrasting Language and Mathematics’, Revista LinguiStica 11, 1, 2015, 28-56.

    Part 10: Human/Animal Divide

    57. Marc D. Hauser, Pogen MacNeilage and Molly Ware, ‘Numerical Representation in Primates’, PNAS 93, 4, 1996, 1514–1517.

    58. Rochel Gelman and Sara Cordes, ‘Counting in Animals and Humans’, in E. Dupoux (ed.), Language, Brain, and Cognitive Development: Essays in Honor of Jacques Mehler (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001), pp. 279-302.

    59. W. Tecumseh Fitch and Marc D. Hauser, ‘Computational Constraints on Syntactic Processing in a Nonhuman Primate’, Science 303, 2004, 377–380.

    60. Michael C. Corballis, ‘Recursion, Language and Starlings’, Cognitive Science 31, 2007, 697-704

    61. Erich D. Jarvis, ‘Neural Systems for Vocal Learning in Birds and Humans: A Synopsis’, Journal of Ornithology 148, 2007, 35–44.

    62. D. M. Webb and J. Zhang, ‘FoxP2 in Song-learning Birds and Vocal-learning Mammals’, Journal of Hereditary 96, 3, 2005, 212–216.

    63. Angela D. Friederici, ‘Language Development and the Ontogeny of the Dorsal Pathway’, Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience 4, 3, 2012.

    Part 11: Brains studies

    64. Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini and Juan Uriagereka, ‘Still a Bridge Too Far? Biolinguistic Questions for Grounding Language on Brains’, Physics of Life Reviews 5, 2008, 207–224.

    65. Angela D. Friederici and Jens Brauer, ‘Syntactic Complexity in the Brain’, in T. Givon and M. Shibatan (eds), Syntactic Complexity: Diachrony, Acquisition, Neurocognition, Evolution (Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2009), pp. 491–506.

    66. Angela D. Friederici, Jorg Bahlmann, Roland Friederich and Michiru Makuuchi, ‘The Neural Basis of Recursion and Complex Syntactic Hierarchy’, Biolinguistics 5, 1-2, 2011, 87–104.

    67. Roland Friedrich and Angela D. Friederici, ‘Mathematical Logic in the Human Brain: Syntax’, PLoS ONE 4, 5, 2009.

    68. Roland Friedrich and Angela D. Friederici, ‘Mathematical Logic in the Human Brain: Semantics’, PLoS ONE, 8, 8, 2013.



    Anna Maria Di Sciullo is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Quebec at Montreal.